Canadian Health Coalition Applauds HESA’s New Report on Pharmacare

Ottawa: The Canadian Health Coalition, which represents health care advocates across the country, applauds the Parliamentary Committee on Health (HESA) on its report on a national public drug plan: Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for all Canadians.

“It should be acted on as soon as possible”, said CHC Chair Pauline Worsfold, RN. “Bravo! The Committee has not just recommended improved, universal public drug coverage for all Canadians, but has given us a clear road map for how to get there.”

The recommendations provide a detailed guide for a federal-provincial-territorial drug plan that would include everyone. The Canada Health Act that now provides public health care for doctors and hospitals would be expanded to include prescription drugs. This would also mean a significant financial contribution by the federal government to the cost.

The committee also proposes serious improvements to the protection of Canadians from the self-interest of pharmaceutical companies. New drugs would be evaluated by an independent government agency free of influence by pharmaceutical companies. There would also be a new national data collection to collect and review adverse drug reactions.

The Committee also recommends transparent negotiations with the drug companies over prices, building on the work of the pan-Canadian Alliance, but with the important additional bargaining strength of covering the whole population.

What does all this mean? It means public drug coverage for all Canadians, as now exists for doctors and hospitals. It means an end to different access to drugs depending where you live and work. It means an effective process to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, reducing costs to a more reasonable level.

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For more information, please contact:

James Hutt
National Director, Policy and Advocacy (Interim)
343-777-6283
policy@healthcoalition.ca

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