Pharmacare consensus principles

PharmacareA diverse coalition representing health care providers, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors, patients and academics has come together to issue a statement of consensus principles for the establishment of National Pharmacare in Canada.

Our coalition believes that National Pharmacare should be a seamless extension of the existing universal health care system in Canada, which covers medically necessary physician and hospital services, and therefore operate in harmony with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

National Pharmacare should be governed by the following principles:

1. Universality

Coverage for all residents of Canada on equal terms and conditions.

2. Public, Single-Payer Administration

A publicly administered and delivered program that is integrated with the Medicare systems in which it operates, directly accountable to the public it serves, and leverages single-payer procurement to maximize purchasing power for the entire Canadian population.

3. Accessibility

Access to covered medications without financial barriers or other impediments.

4. Comprehensiveness

Coverage for as many medications as judged safe and effective by scientific evidence and based on the best value for money.

Ensure the public servant experts who select medications for coverage are appropriately insulated from political pressures and marketing campaigns.

5. Portable Coverage

Continuous and consistent coverage for residents who move within Canada.

In addition to the five principles above, our coalition believes that the federal government must offer leadership in order to achieve National Pharmacare. This must include substantial funding commitments, sufficient to induce provincial and territorial governments to opt-in to the national program.


  • Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
  • Canada Without Poverty
  • Canadian Association of Community Health Centres
  • Canadian Association of Social Workers
  • Canadian Association of Retired Persons
  • Canadian Association of Retired Teachers
  • Canadian Association of University Teachers
  • Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Canadian Doctors for Medicare
  • Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
  • Canadian Health Coalition
  • Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
  • Canadian Labour Congress
  • Canadian Nursing Students’ Association
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • Citizens for Public Justice
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada
  • Community Food Centres Canada
  • Congress of Union Retirees of Canada
  • Council of Canadians
  • InterPares
  • LeadNow
  • National Farmers Union
  • National Pensioners Federation
  • National Union of Public and General Employees
  • Seniors’ Voice
  • United Food & Commercial Workers
  • Unifor
  • United Steelworkers of Canada
  • Women’s Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada


  • Alberta Association of Community Health Centres
  • Alberta Federation of Labour
  • Alberta Federation of Union Retirees
  • Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
  • Alternatives North
  • Alliance for Healthier Communities - Ontario
  • British Columbia Association of Community Health Centres
  • British Columbia College of Family Physicians
  • British Columbia Federation of Retired Union Members
  • British Columbia Nurses’ Union

September 24, 2018