Canada is currently the only industrialized country that provides universal health care without providing universal coverage for prescription medications. Previous research suggests that 10% of Canadians do not take recommended medications for their conditions because of the high cost. If Canada were to implement a program with universal prescription medication coverage, it could save Canadians around $4.2 billion dollars annually.
“Not only will a national pharma care plan cost less than Canadians are currently spending, it will ensure better coverage so that every Canadian has access to the medications they need,” says Dr. Danyaal Raza, the chair of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. Raza and the CDR believe the way medications are covered fragments purchasing power, and negatively affects price negotiation with drug companies.
The Liberal government has committed to reducing the price of medications, ut has never promised a move to a universal coverage system. As of now there are upwards of 100 pharma care programs in Canada run by both provincial and federal governments. Have one system would not only save Canadians money for necessary drugs, but also reduce administration costs as well. The government is certainly aware of this possible improvement to our health system, and the development of a national pharma care program is being investigated by the House standing committee on health.
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