Prescription medicines offer great promise for people with acute and chronic illnesses. Yet for many Canadians, they remain too expensive and out of reach. One in five households reports a family member who, in the past year, has not taken a prescribed medicine due to its cost.
Improving access to prescription drugs will save thousands of lives and improve the health of countless Canadians living with acute and chronic illnesses. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Chair of the Implementation of National Pharmacare, talks about Canada’s next steps.
Mediaplanet: What are some of the key points and focuses of your proposed national pharmacare plan?
Dr. Eric Hoskins: Universal pharmacare will provide all Canadians with access to medicine based on their need and not their ability to pay.
The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare recommends a pharmacare model consistent with Canada’s universal health care system, and one based on the principles outlined in the Canada Health Act: Universal, Comprehensive, Accessible, Portable, and Public.
We recommend that the federal government work together with provincial and territorial governments and stakeholders to establish universal, single-payer, public pharmacare in Canada.
What can people and organizations do to work towards national pharmacare?
There remains a great deal of work to do to implement pharmacare. The federal government needs to continue to hear from Canadians that they support universal single-payer national pharmacare. And, just as important, provincial and territorial governments need to know that their populations support universal pharmacare. We need to put patients and their families at the centre of our deliberations and discussions as we build national pharmacare. The promise of pharmacare is so great, we cannot let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass us by.