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Articles on Pharmacare

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For people with disabilities, prescription drug costs are often layered on top of other health-related costs. (Shutterstock)

Without pharmacare, Canadians with disabilities rationing drugs due to high prescription costs

Any pharmacare plan that aims to remove financial barriers to treatment and eliminate inequities should prioritize those who face the highest out-of-pocket drug costs, such as people with disabilities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in August 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The throne speech must blaze a bold new path — including imposing a wealth tax

The speech from the throne is just around the corner. Will the Liberal government make broad and much-needed economic and social change amid the pandemic, or will it give in to the wealthy again?
During the federal election campaign, Liberals promised to take critical steps to implement pharmacare. Will they deliver? (Shutterstock)

Will Canada finally get pharmacare?

To implement pharmacare, the Liberals will need to negotiate with the provinces, and the mostly Conservative premiers are unlikely to make this easy. The insurance industry also has much to lose.
A letter to leaders of Canada’s political parties signed by 1200 academics with expertise in health care calls for parties to commit to a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Leave the patchwork to the quilts: The case for pharmacare

The 1964 report that paved the way for Canada’s medicare envisaged that after universal coverage for doctors, the next step would be prescription drugs. But that next step hasn’t come.
Coverage for essential and effective medications would be the “ounce of prevention” that is worth a pound of cure in our cash-strapped Canadian health-care system. (Shutterstock)

National pharmacare will save money and lives

Some Canadians go without heat and food to buy their medications. Others simply don’t take them because they can’t afford to. This is why we need a national pharmacare plan.
Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau announced funding for a new Canadian Drug Agency in the 2019 Federal Budget. Here he speaks at a press conference in Toronto, March 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Federal budget: A Canadian Drug Agency and rare disease funding are not enough

A new agency and money for drugs for rare diseases are only very partial steps on the road towards what Canada really needs: a national pharmacare plan.
Tax breaks or exemptions for those working in pharmacy, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries could help bolster support for a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Tax breaks could soften the blow of a national pharmacare plan

Two community pharmacists suggest a way for improving the palatability of evidence-based universal pharmacare – for those working in health insurance, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.
The ongoing NAFTA renegotiations could put a Canadian national pharmacare program in jeopardy, and could have a particular impact on Canadians who need expensive arthritis drugs. (Shutterstock)

NAFTA negotiations may threaten pharmacare

The ongoing NAFTA renegotiations could put a Canadian national pharmacare program in jeopardy, and have a particular impact on Canadians who need expensive arthritis drugs. Here’s how.
A national pharmacare program may one day be a reality in Canada. Myths abound about how it would work and what the consequences would be for Canadians and pharmaceutical companies. (Shutterstock)

Debunking the myths about a Canadian pharmacare program

As Canadians consider possibilities for pharmacare reform in the coming months, they should have access to the best available evidence about how it might work in our country.
Could universal pharmacare reduce excessive drug price hikes in Canada? Eric Hoskins, former Ontario Minister of Health, will chair a federal government advisory council to implement a national pharmacare plan. Hoskins is pictured here with federal Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Pharmacare and the chaotic world of Canadian drug prices

The cost of a life-saving drug in Canada is rising by 3,000 per cent. A national pharmacare plan could bring order to this chaotic world of Canadian drug prices.
The fact that Ontario’s health minister, Eric Hoskins, is resigning from his post to head up a newly announced advisory council on a Canadian pharmacare system bodes well, meaning Ottawa’s new initiative may go beyond being “just another study.” Hoskins is a longtime advocate for pharmacare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canadian pharmacare is closer to becoming a reality

Will Ottawa’s new advisory council on pharmacare amount to “just another study,” or is a national program truly within reach?
Canada spends more per capita on prescription drugs than most other OECD countries. (Shutterstock)

Why Canada should introduce universal drugs coverage

Canada is the only nation with a broad public health system lacking universal coverage for pharmaceuticals. Despite fears that pharmacare would be too costly, it could end up saving Canadians money.

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