The CHC urges the new government to take swift action on pharmacare
Ottawa, ON: The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) congratulates the newly elected government and calls on all parties to work together to swiftly implement universal, public pharmacare. Members of Parliament (MPs) should work across party lines to bring in this essential new program that will improve people’s health and save Canadians billions of dollars every year.
“This is a historic moment for health care in our country”, said Melanie Benard, the CHC’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy. “For the very first time, three of the major parties committed to pharmacare in their election platforms. Canadians showed their widespread support for this new program at the ballox box. Now we need to hold the new government to account and ensure they make pharmacare a priority.”
Canada is the only country in the world with a universal public health care system that doesn’t cover prescription medication. The current patchwork of drug coverage leaves millions of Canadians falling through the cracks. Currently, 1 in 4 households can’t afford their medications. One million Canadians are having to choose between putting food on the table and buying the medication they need.
Canada pays the third highest prices for prescription medications among OECD countries. With national pharmacare, Canada could negotiate much lower prices with pharmaceutical companies by bulk buying medication for the whole country.
In June 2019, a government-appointed Advisory Council led by Dr. Eric Hoskins recommended the implementation of a public, single-payer pharmacare program. In the election campaign, the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens committed to implementing the Council’s recommendations.
“The majority of Canadians voted for pharmacare in this election,” said Benard. “We’ve been working towards this for decades. Pharmacare’s time has come. We look forward to working with the new government to make this happen.”
For more information:
National Director, Policy and Advocacy