A national drug coverage plan which is public, affordable and safe, would mean that everyone in Canada would have access to the prescription medicines they need. The plan would include a robust, evidence-based approval and review system to ensure the medications that Canadians receive are safe and offer appropriate treatment.
And when everyone has equitable access to the medicines they need to be healthy, we’re all better off.
A publicly administered and funded coverage plan would ensure that everyone in Canada has access to the medicines that they need.
As it now stands, we don’t all have coverage–it depends on who your employer is, your age, your income and where you live. A single public system would reduce administrative costs and achieve lower prices than what we’re paying now. Under a national drug coverage plan, prescription drugs would become a part of Medicare, so when you get a prescription from your health care professional, you would get it filled free of charge at the pharmacy.
Drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the world.
Our current patchwork of public and private drug coverage plans is inefficient. It costs governments, businesses, and families billions of dollars every year while still failing to provide access to prescription drugs for everyone in Canada.
Recent studies have found that a national drug coverage plan could save over $7 billion dollars each year and cover virtually all prescription drugs. A national plan would negotiate the best possible price, thus making universal pharmacare very affordable.
Medicines are often under-used, overused and misused in Canada.
Studies show that 1 in every 6 cases where people end up in the hospital could have been prevented if prescription drugs were used appropriately. And about 3 million Canadians yearly can’t afford necessary medications — asthma inhalers, antibiotics, anticoagulants – even insulin. This is fundamentally unsafe, even more so for people that really need care and have limited financial resources. A national drug coverage plan would include a robust, evidence-based approval and review system to ensure the medications that Canadians receive are safe and offer appropriate treatment.
The tools for safe care are available now!
We urge the federal parties to commit to a national drug coverage plan to implement these tools.