Universal drug coverage, or pharmacare, has been a topic of national discussion in Canada for decades now. All political parties agree that no one should have to choose between keeping a roof over their head and being able to afford medicine. So why is it that in 2020 there are still people who lack prescription drug coverage?
Surveys show that the majority of Canadians support a national pharmacare plan, but would prefer to maintain their current coverage if they have it. This is clearly an issue that Canadians care about, and we’re tired of waiting for solutions. So let’s make some real progress.
Immediate solutions that work
Here’s a place where we can start to achieve immediate results for our most vulnerable: establishing a national pharmacare program that focuses on Canadians who don’t already have prescription drug coverage. Healthcare dollars are limited and should be directed to the people in the greatest need — those without coverage or with inadequate coverage.
Canadians should never be overwhelmed by the cost of drugs. Unfortunately, many patients are impacted by the extremely high cost of drugs for rare diseases, complex immune disorders, and cancers. We should be providing public coverage for these patients. Every Canadian, no matter how severe their condition, deserves treatment.
Pharmacists know all too well the pain and anxiety that people without coverage endure. We’re on the front lines, helping patients navigate drug coverage to gain access to their medicines. Canada is a wealthy and caring country. We need to do better.