Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his victory speech on election night, Sept. 21, 2021.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Canada’s lack of pharmacare harms health in our communities, strains our health-care system and encumbers our economy. Parliament is out of excuses for not implementing a national drug plan.
For people with disabilities, prescription drug costs are often layered on top of other health-related 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 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?
The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act enables compulsory drug licensing to help avoid medication shortages.
Toilet paper shortages were bad enough. A shortage of drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic would be worse. A provision in the Canadian government’s relief package aims to prevent that from happening.
During the federal election campaign, Liberals promised to take critical steps to implement pharmacare. Will they deliver?
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.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau delivers his speech in Montreal, on October 22, 2019.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
The election results could mean a national pharmacare program will happen, albeit slowly. Canadians can also expect more safe injection sites and money invested in the opioid crisis.
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.
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.
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
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.
In 2016, drug company salespeople gave out almost 10 million pills to doctors.
It takes about three years for safety problems to be identified in new drugs, newer drugs are almost always more expensive, and yet Canadian doctors still hand out hundreds of thousands of samples.
Tax breaks or exemptions for those working in pharmacy, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries could help bolster support for 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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.