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No one should have to make this choice between groceries or prescription drugs

This video features Rebecca Redmond, a distant relative of Dr. Frederick Banting, the discoverer of insulin. Banting dreamed of a world where insulin would be available for all. Redmond has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for nearly 25 years.

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.

February 29, 2024, the Liberals introduced their long-promised legislation for a national pharmacare program. “Today we’re celebrating a major win for people power against corporate greed. For too long, wealthy corporations have stood in the way of progress on a public pharmacare plan. But today, patients have finally prevailed. Now, the government must rapidly fund, implement, and expand the program, to fully meet the needs of Canadians and bring drug prices down,” Christina Warner, Council of Canadians Executive Director.

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

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 stepping up the pressure on the government now to deliver public, universal pharmacare now, we can win a historic expansion of our cherished public health care system.

the fight for pharmacare starts with you

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 on February 24, 2023, with a conversation with patient advocates Bill Swan, Rowan Burdge, Monika Dutt, Erin Little, and our campaigner Nik Barry-Shaw, hosted by Avi Lewis.

Let’s Organize for Public Pharmacare Now!

Video by Emma Buchanan

The Council of Canadians has been organizing a grassroots pushback against the massive lobbying campaign that Big Pharma and their insurance industry allies have launched. Join us in this fight for universal drug coverage.


Public Pharmacare Now Window Sign Image

Pharmacare Organizing Resources

Council of Canadians supporters across the country are showing their support for public pharmacare and building the movement by putting up window signs in their homes and asking their neighbors to do the same, handing out flyers and collecting petitions outside pharmacies and at other locations in their communities, and meeting with their MPs.

Download printable campaign materials and other resources that can be useful to those of you doing this work.

Recent News & Analysis:

Chip-in to support our work

The Council of Canadians is a grassroots, nonpartisan, independent organization funded almost entirely by tens of thousands of individual Canadian donors. We do not take any money from governments or corporations. Due to our political work, the Council of Canadians is not a registered charity and are unable to provide charitable tax receipts.

Chip-in now to boost the fight for national pharmacare.