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Premiers need to prioritize universal pharmacare, says Council of Canadians


As the premiers arrive in Whitehorse this week for the Council of the Federation, the Council of Canadians is available to comment on the urgent need to negotiate a new Canada Health Accord that includes a fair funding formula and universal pharmacare.

“Make no mistake, our universal public health care system is at the most important crossroads in its history,” says Michael Butler, Health Care Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “The provincial and federal governments need to make the most of this opportunity to negotiate a robust health accord and include medicare’s missing piece, a universal pharmacare program.”

Canada has the distinction of being the only developed country with a universal health care system that does not include universal prescription drug benefits. One in five Canadians has trouble filling prescriptions due to cost, while Big Pharma enjoys huge profits. The current fragmented system means worse health outcomes and higher drug prices for Canadians.

“Polls show 91 per cent of Canadians want a national pharmacare program, and studies show implementing one could save up to $11 billion dollars annually,” says Butler. “It’s time to bring Canada’s health care into the 21st century with safe and effective drug coverage for everyone.”