Prescription drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the developed world, and Canada’s patchwork of drug coverage leaves many Canadians facing significant barriers to getting the prescription drugs they need. In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, which was formally launched last month.
All Canadians, including patients, and interested stakeholders are invited to take part in the work of the council by sharing their views on what national pharmacare might look like. The council’s chair, Dr. Eric Hoskins, announced the launch of the council’s online consultation last week.
Canadians can provide their views on national pharmacare through an online questionnaire and engage in discussion through an online discussion form at https://www.letstalkhealth.ca/pharmacare. They can also provide written submissions to the council (go to http://bit.ly/2LhtHgm).
“Hearing directly from Canadians will be critical as we work to find the best path forward to a national pharmacare plan,” says Hoskins. “I invite each and every Canadian to participate in the consultation process by sharing your vision of pharmacare and letting us know how it could work to the benefit of all Canadians.”
At least one in 10 Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need. Every year, almost one million Canadians give up food and heat to afford medicines. The council will consult with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous leaders, as well as with patients and stakeholders across the country.
Feedback from Canadians will help shape the council’s independent report to the Federal Government, to be presented in spring 2019. The report will provide the government with recommendations and a plan on how to move forward on national pharmacare.
“I encourage all Canadians to participate in this consultation,” says The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. “Their views and feedback will inform the Council’s recommendations in support of better access to prescription medication.”
Canadians are also invited to read the accompanying discussion paper at http://bit.ly/2mzAbZl, which is a starting point for the council’s dialogue with Canadians about the implementation of national pharmacare.
The online consultations will close on September 28, 2018.