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To raise the political temperature on pharmacare, the Council of Canadians and allies are organizing town halls across Canada, hosted by Avi Lewis and others. Upcoming town halls in Montreal and B.C.! More to come.

Inflation is eating away at our pocketbooks, forcing millions of us to choose between paying the rent, buying groceries, or filling our prescriptions. And sky-high drug prices are taking billions from our hospitals, at a time when we need to massively re-invest to save public health care. A publicly-funded, universal drug coverage program – also known as pharmacare – could change this.

We can win access to prescription drugs for all. If you act.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government committed to passing a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of 2023. Legislation is expected to be tabled in the fall. Right now, Big Pharma and its insurance industry allies are working to torpedo the whole project.

We have to fight back.

Big Pharma has the power of money, but we represent the vast majority of Canadians – 9 out of 10 of whom say they want pharmacare. By uniting in cities and towns across Canada to demand pharmacare now, we can win a historic expansion of our cherished public health care system.

How to Organize a Public Pharmacare Now Town Hall

Don’t see an event near you listed? Organize one in your community using this toolkit

If you’re interested in hosting a Pharmacare town hall, or would like to be connected with people who are hosting a town hall near you, please let us know here.

the fight for pharmacare starts with you

The Council of Canadians is calling on our members, allied organizations, and individual supporters to seize this opportunity and join the fight to win public, universal pharmacare.

Want to join with other Council of Canadians supporters in your area to fight for pharmacare? Fill out our form!

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We need a public, single-payer pharmacare plan

Our patchwork, U.S.-style system needs to be replaced. Canadians overwhelmingly believe access to health care should be based on need, rather than income. Prescription drugs should not be any different. Yet as drug prices rise ever higher, the gaping holes in our patchwork of public and private drug plans mean more people are skipping doses, going into debt, getting sicker – and in some cases, dying.

Ensuring that everyone has access to medications is possible

Dozens of other countries already have public drug plans that provide coverage for all; Canada is the only country with public health care that doesn’t. The federal government’s own Advisory Council on Implementing National Pharmacare recommended implementing universal, public coverage in 2019.

We need to raise the political temperature to make pharmacare happen

The Council of Canadians has an ambitious plan to dial up the pressure on the Trudeau government. We’re building a broad national coalition for public pharmacare, and participating in a Lobby Day in Ottawa and town halls across the country. We’ll be intervening in the media and upping the pressure on key MPs and cabinet members. With your participation, together we can put this plan into action in your community.

We know what needs to be done

A public drug insurance plan that covers everyone in Canada will lower drug prices and return billions to government and hospital budgets. It will also drastically reduce what people pay at the pharmacy, to no more than $100 per year.

Recent news and more resources

Public Pharmacare Now! A conversation hosted by Avi Lewis

The Council of Canadians kicked off its national pharmacare campaign with a conversation with patient advocates Bill Swan, Rowan Burdge, Monika Dutt, Erin Little, and our campaigner Nik Barry-Shaw, hosted by Avi Lewis.

Pharmacare and the need for political will, Interview with Bill Swan, SaltWire, April 24, 2023

Halifax town hall gathering will push long-awaited pharmacare program, SaltWire, The Chronicle Herald, April 21, 2023

Patient advocate pushing for public pharmacare to speak in P.E.I., PEI Guardian, April 19, 2023

Robin Tress

How the pharmaceutical industry has ramped up pharmacare lobbying efforts
Hear about concerns that the pharmaceutical industry is slowing down the government’s promise to bring in universal pharmacare by the end of this year. The Council of Canadians has been taking a close look at those lobbying efforts. CBC Interview with Robin Tress, Co-Executive Director, The Council of Canadians, February 27, 2023

The Fight for Public Pharmacare
The Council of Canadians’ Nikolas Barry-Shaw joins host Andre Goulet to discuss the Fight for Pharmacare Alliance, a national coalition coming together and dedicated to raise political pressure and convince the feds that universal pharmacare needs to happen. February 27, 2023

Nikolas Barry-Shaw