Prescription drug prices in Canada are among the highest in the developed world. 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. Last week, the Council’s chair, Dr. Eric Hoskins, announced the launch of the Council’s online consultation.
“Hearing directly from Canadians will be critical as we work to find the best path forward to a national pharmacare plan. 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,” says Dr. Eric Hoskins, Chair of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.
Canadians can provide their views on national pharmacare through an online questionnaire, as well as by providing written submissions to the Council. They can also engage in the discussion through an online discussion forum.
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.
Canadians are also invited to read the accompanying discussion paper, which is a starting point for the Council’s dialogue with Canadians about the implementation of national pharmacare.
The Council looks forward to hearing from Canadians on this important issue. The online consultations will close on September 28, 2018.
- Pharmacare is a system of drug coverage that provides people with access to necessary prescription drugs.
- At least one in ten Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need. Every year, almost one million Canadians give up food and heat to afford medicines.
- In the coming months, the Council will consult with provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders, as well as with patients and stakeholders across the country.
- This work builds on the significant action taken over the past two years to better regulate drug prices, streamline drug approvals, support better prescribing practices and explore a national drug formulary.