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Drug companies dominate BC health ministry stakeholders list

The invitation from deputy health minister Graham Whitmarsh to a November stakeholder session went to a long list dominated by drug companies.

"The session provides an opportunity to learn about ongoing priorities within the Ministry of Health, as well as pose questions to myself and other Health Ministry Executives," says the emailed invitation to the Nov. 21 meeting at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

About three quarters of the invitees are representatives of drug companies, with the remainder at patient groups, chain drug stores, universities, health authorities and lobbying companies.

"It's got every pharmaceutical company under the sun there," said University of Victoria health researcher Alan Cassels.

"Everything else related to pharmacare seems to be on hold," he said, referring to a September announcement of suspensions and terminations in the health ministry related to contracting and data management that led to the cancellation of at least some research contracts. "Why is this not on hold?"

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid said there are ongoing discussions with stakeholders and she believed the meeting would be focussed on changes the B.C. government made to drug legislation in the spring that included reducing what the province will pay for generic drugs.

It is the fifth such annual meeting held since the government's drug-industry dominated pharmaceutical task force convened in 2007. It will include a keynote address from Lynne Maher, the innovation and design director for the United Kingdom's National Health Service Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

The invitation said priority will be given to invited guests. A list of those invitees was included with Whitmarsh's email.

They include:

Abbott Canada, Kevin Harrington

Actelion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., Jacques Archambault and Louise Boisjoly

Alcon Canada, Beth Witney and Rav Gill

Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Allergan Canada, Steve Van-Wyck and Lynda Yanko

Alzheimer Society of BC

Amgen Canada


Aptalis Pharma Canada Inc.

Arthritis Consumer Experts

Arthritis Society BC and Yukon

Astellas Pharma Canada Inc.

Asthma Society of Canada

AstraZeneca Canada, Leslie Foord and Robert Godin

Axcan Pharma

Bausch and Lomb, Eric Tse

Baxter Canada , Mike Oliver and Mike Traa

Bayer Inc., Doug Grant and Shiera Stuart

BC Cancer Agency

BC Coalition of Osteoporosis Physicians

BC Health Coalition

BC Lung Association

BC Medical Association, Dan MacCarthy and Jonathan Agnew

BC Pharmacy Association, Coco Lefoka, Parkash Ragsdale and Geraldine Vance

Better PharmaCare Coalition

Biogen Idec Canada, Noelle-Dominique Willems and Paul Petrelli

BIOTECanada, Graeme Fraser and Peter Brenders

Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Danny Labbe and Mehmood Alibhai

Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada, Donald Allard and Tami Crawley


Canada Safeway, Angela Wierzbicki

Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical companies, Russell Williams

Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance

Canadian Association for Healthcare Reimbursement, Bob Kamino

Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores

Canadian Association of Pharmacy Distribution Management, Brent Teulon

Canadian Association of Pharmacy Distribution Management

Canadian Diabetes Association

Canadian GENERICs Pharmaceutical Association, Dean Crawford (Heenan Blaikie), Jim Keon and Julie Tam

Canadian Health Coalition, Colleen Fuller

Canadian Life & Health Insurance Association Inc.

CEM (Centre for Evaluation of Medicines)

Children's and Women's Health Centre of BC

Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc., Jason Gross

Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Inc.

College of Pharmacists of BC, Bob Nakagawa and Suzanne Solven

Domrex Pharma

Drug Trading Company Ltd.

Duchesnay Labs

Eisai Limited, Horia Ijacu and Lindsay Williams

Eli Lilly Canada, Marcel Lechanteur and Hal Stovall

EMD Serono, Deborah Brown and Robert Kulik

Erfa, Simon Soucy

Ethypharm Inc., Hafid Touam

Ferring Inc., Yeesha Poon

Fleishman-Hillard, Don Stickney and Mark Reder

Fraser Health Authority, Marc Pelletier and Mits Miyata

Galderma Canada Inc., Joe Quinto

Gastrointestinal Society

Genzyme Canada, Diane Bigras and Monty Keast

GFR Pharma Ltd

Gilead Science, Edward Gudaitis and Faizan Bari

Glaxo Smith Kline, John Kelly and Peter Simpson

Graceway Pharmaceuticals, Rick Tiedemann and Rosalind Falls

Great West Life, Harold Gutovich

Health Shared Services BC, Douglas Kent


Heart & Stroke Foundation of British Columbia & Yukon

Hill and Knowlton, Steve Vander Wal

Hospira, Annie Brochu


Interior Health Authority, Kevin Peters and Richard Slavik


JBL Group, Stephen Filbey


Kidney Foundation of Canada

LEO Pharma Inc., Adam Coote and Brian Carter

LifeScan Canada

LifeSciences BC

Loblaws, Mohinder Jaswal and Richard Leigh

London Drugs, Wynne Powell

Luitpold Pharmaceuticals

Lundbeck Canada

Manulife Financial, Peter Wilkinson

McKesson Canada, Anthony Leong

Mercer, Dan Eisner and Nick Gubbay

Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., Norma Sebestyen and Sheila Davis

Merz Pharma Canada Ltd., Glenn Block

Methapharm Inc.

Mint Pharmaceuticals Inc.

MS Society of Canada, Janet Palm and Sharon Farrish

Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Dick Guest

Next Generation Pharma

Northern Health Authority, Dana Cole

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada, Geoffrey Squires and Michael McLean

Novo Nordisk


Omega Laboratories

Orbus Pharma Inc.

Osteoporosis Canada - BC Division

Osteoporosis Patient Network

Pacific Blue Cross, Ken Martin

Paladin Labs

Parkinson Society BC

Patient Voices Network (CPSI)

Patient Voices Network (Impact BC)

Pendopharm, Division of/ de Pharmascience Inc.

Pensions BC, Bruce Kennedy

Pension Board of Trustees

Pfizer Canada, Bob Dawson and Christopher Smith

Pharmasave BC, Ken Foreman, Ken

Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd.

PharmaScience / Pharmel / Zymcan/Pendopharm

Positive Living BC

Providence Health Care

Purdue Pharma, Karen Clark and Lance Payne

Quintiles Canada Inc.

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, Paul Drake

RepliCel Life Sciences

Roche Canada, Ilona Torontali , Katia Oteman and Ronnie Miller

Rx Canada, Wendy Nelson

Sandoz Canada, Jacques Bergeron and Leonor Ferreira

Sanofi-Aventis, Brian Eccleston and Dan Kennedy

Schering Plough Canada, Anil Kaul

Sepracor Pharmaceuticals Inc., Natasha Lenton

Servier Canada, Alan Low and Marilyn Tomney

Shire Canada

Shire Human Genetic Therapies (Canada) Inc.

Shoppers Drug Mart

Smith & Nephew, Andriy Moshyk


Sun Life Financial Canada, Bruce Moffat

Takeda Canada, John Warrington and Laurene Redding

Taro Pharmaceuticals, Hans Vanderdoe

Teva Canada, Liliana Polcari and Terry Creighton



Triton Pharma, Phillip Harrison

UBC, Jiri Frohlich, Robert Sindelar and Stuart MacLeod

UBC Centre for Health Services & Policy Research, Steve Morgan and Michael Law


UBC Faculty of Medicine, Gavin Stuart, Brian Warriner, Vijaya Musini and others

UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

UBC Practice Innovation, Peter Zed

UBC Staff, Sleep Disorders Programme

UBC, Providence Health Care Research Institute

UBC, Therapeutics Initiative, Jim Wright

UCB Canada Inc., Jeannie Morrison and Robert Tam

uniPHARM Wholesale Drugs

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Canada, Gaetan Carriere and Lindsay Williams

Valeo Pharma

Vancouver Island Health Authority, Michele Babich and Richard Bachand

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Canada), Robert Kulik and Robert Woolstencroft

Vita Health Products Inc.

Warner Chilcott Canada Co., Kelli Keesey and Martin Cho

Watson PharmaCompany, Simon Ferazzi

Wellspring Pharmaceutical Canada Corp.

WPC Government Relations

Wyeth Pharnaceuticals (1883)

Xenon Pharmaceuticals

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Find him on Twitter or reach him here.

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