For some Canadians, prescription costs have become a great concern, forcing people to choose between paying for the medicines they need, or hydro.
This week as the 2018 Federal Budget came to light, so did word that the Liberal Party of Canada is setting up the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The Liberals state that the purpose of this committee is to “recommend options on how best to move forward together on this important issue to ensure every Canadian has access to the medicine they need.”
Leading the charge will be Dr. Eric Hoskins, who has just resigned from his posts as Minister of Health and Long-Term Care of Ontario, as well as MPP of St. Paul’s.
“In leaving Queen’s Park, I am determined to continue building better healthcare for all Canadians,” reads an excerpt from Dr. Hoskins’ letter of resignation.
Hoskins and his team will have until the spring of 2019 to issue a final report regarding the future of Pharmacare in Canada.
According to the Canadian Press, the council will consult with provinces, territories and Indigenous groups regarding which drugs they think should be included in a forthcoming Pharmacare plan. Of course, Hoskins will also have to present an idea of how much a future plan would cost.
Really pleased to see a commitment to pharmacare in #Budget2018 – but we’ve had past efforts that have failed. @CarpAdvocacy will be working to make sure this time is different.
— Wanda Morris (@WandaAtCARP) February 27, 2018
A new study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto, recently reported that an estimated 1.69 million Canadians (8.2% of those who received a prescription in 2016), didn’t fill prescriptions, avoided doses, or didn’t take their medicine at all, simply because the cost was too high.
On a recent episode of “theZoomer,” host Libby Znaimer was joined by Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath, Executive Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer for the Ontario Pharmacists Association Allan Malek, Dr. Steve Morgan, Professor of health policy in the School of Population and Public Health (UBC), and more to discuss how Canada might institute universal public drug coverage and if Canadians can afford it. You can watch this episode below.