Story 53 – Verapamil and frustration!

A reader in the British Columbia interior writes….


I am a 79-year-old man and have used verapamil for a number of years
to control blood pressure and a irritating PSVT. I now cannot get it,
and am one of those long term users you describe who doesn’t want to
fart around trying new stuff when there is no inherent necessity to do
so. It angers me, especially when I read of the complex and
profit-driven…excuse me, profit-OBSESSED, agencies that are the root
cause of it.

It seems that we as a nation are unaware of the profound dangers that
are entailed. “Extortion” isn’t an overstatement.

I am going to read the whole thing [this website], particularly those elements
proposing an nationalised production. It is ridiculous that a modern
1st world nation like ours has no pharmaceutical capacity to protect
the heath of the citizens- and there is, as you say, no economic
argument for not doing it, given the costs that would arise if
appropriate treatments and preventions aren’t available.

You’ve got my blood pressure up (ha ha) and I’m going to get chewing
on the material, all the while growling at the political inertia
around this.

I think it’s very important to alert people to the essentially precarious nature of pharmaceutical supplies, especially in the context of the magnitude of our reliance on them and their cost.

The problem is political and economic- and apparently no political
establishment can imagine anything more than bulk buying and
pharmacare as a solution…and even these are largely seen as too

It’s an acute case of path dependency wherein “pragmatism”
and “empiricism” are forgotten archaisms. …

What must be re-established in policy decision-making is a clear understanding of the inherent power of a modern sovereign state to meet the essential needs of its citizens. Canadian resources, human, natural and institutional are immense. The question “how can we afford it?” is rather silly. No. It’s really