We need a government that will introduce a national pharmacare strategy.
Canada needs a national pharmacare plan to provide access to prescription drugs for all Canadians. All developed countries with public health care systems provide universal coverage for prescription drugs – except Canada.
Our current system for prescribed drug coverage is inefficient, inequitable, wasteful and unsustainable for both individuals and governments.
A national pharmacare plan could save Canada between $2.7-$11.4 billion annually by including prescribed drugs in the public health care system, establishing a national formulary, controlling costs (systematic bulk purchasing), and assessing the safety and efficacy of the medications to avoid adverse events and unnecessary waste.
There is a growing consensus that now is the time to implement a national universal prescription drug plan.
In August 2014, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions published a report prepared by Dr. Marc André Gagnon titled, ‘A Roadmap to a Rational Pharmacare Policy in Canada.’ The report calls on governments at all levels to support the development of a national prescription drug program, and highlights four practical reforms which would improve Canadian’s access to prescription drugs.
- Prescription drugs are 50% higher per capita than in other developed countries.
- 10% of Canadians are unable to fill a prescription due to cost annually.
- Canada could save up to $1.3 billion from eliminating administrative costs of private plans.
- 82% of Canadians support bulk purchasing to control the costs of drugs.