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As Canadians, we share fundamental agreement on two equally important but paradoxical perspectives: the health of our citizens is paramount at the same time as we share a very deep concern about the sustainability of our health care system. We need to apply creative, intelligent energy to grapple with this paradox in such a way that we can ensure that our health care system will not only be sustainable, but also an economic asset.
In the interests of a sustainable health system, we suggest that it is time to examine the pertinent factors with integrated, non-biased and credible research. These data will create the basis for a fair, open and honest dialogue between industry, government and academia. This in turn, will build bridges between stakeholders so that they can work together to create a sustainable and effective health care system.
The Initiative for Sustainable Health Care will be housed in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Its mission will be to provide a neutral, balancing voice and an opportunity for ongoing dialogue and research on economic principles of health care sustainability, with a focus on the role of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals in effecting change.
The activities of the Initiative will be led by a Professorship in Sustainable Health Care and overseen by an Advisory Council comprised of industry, government and academia. The role of this individual may include:
• Developing integrated relationships between industry, government and academia to define information to be collected, reaching agreement on the process for its collection; and creating joint opportunities to discuss its implications.
• Liaising with researchers within the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop new research in health outcomes, economics and policy.
• Educating entry-to-practice pharmacy students as thought leaders who are prepared to have a voice in decision-making for access to beneficial medications for their patients.
• Ensuring that accurate and appropriate information for informed, evidence-based decision making is conveyed to a broad audience including policy makers, government bureaucrats, and politicians; public servants in the Ministries of Health, Education, Innovation/Research and Economic Development; Pharmacy and Medical students and professionals; and MBA Public Health Students and Masters in Public Policy students.
• Acting as media liaison and resource to ensure that neutral information and accurate evidence is made available for an informed public debate.