Canada's pharmacists call for full population drug coverage, enhanced care
It’s time for a pan-Canadian ‘PharmAccord’ that will deliver universal drug coverage for Canadians, ensure access to medications
December 6, 2017 (Ottawa): Today, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) presented a plan that will allow governments to provide universal drug coverage to all Canadians, ensure comprehensive access to medications in Canada and leverage pharmacist care to better utilize medications and improve patient outcomes.
“As pharmacists, we strive to ensure that every patient that walks through our door will have access to the drugs that they need, when they need it,” says Alistair Bursey, Chair, CPhA. “However, 10-15 per cent of Canadians currently have either no insurance or insufficient insurance to afford their medications. This is unacceptable in a country as prosperous as Canada.”
“Forcing Canadians to choose between paying for their prescriptions and hydro is not the Canadian way,” added Bursey. “We need to build on the success of existing drug plans to provide Canadians with complete coverage in a manner that is affordable to government.”
The federal government recently agreed to a health accord that provides investments for provinces and territories to improve health outcomes for Canadians in specific areas. Pharmacists believe the next accord should provide federal investments to support better drug coverage for Canadians while recognizing the unique needs of Canadians in every province and territory.
This is why Canada’s pharmacists are calling on governments to commit to a PharmAccord that would:
- provide full drug coverage to Canadians;
- harmonize catastrophic drug coverage;
- develop a minimum comprehensive national drug formulary;
- ensure the drug system is both affordable and sustainable; and,
- make greater use of the experience and knowledge of pharmacists to provide better care to patients, at a lower cost to government.
“Cost should never be a factor for a Canadian seeking a life-saving drug therapy,” says Perry Eisenschmid, CPhA CEO. “Leveraging the knowledge and experience of Canada’s pharmacists, Canadians can have access to universal drug coverage by government adoption and implementation of a five-pillar PharmAccord.”
Further Information: Rx: PharmAccord – A Prescription for a Healthier Canada
A panel discussion, hosted by iPolitics, was held today following remarks by the Canadian Pharmacists and included: John Oliver MP (Oakville) – Member of the Standing Committee on Health; Janet Yale – President and CEO Arthritis Society (Canada); Iris Krawchenko – Senior Pharmacist Advisor at Canadian Pharmacists Association; and Mostafa Askari – Deputy Parliamentary Budget Officer. Susan Delacourt, Columnist at the Toronto Star, moderated.
About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at www.pharmacists.ca.