CPhA calls on governments to make timely and practical decisions to improve drug coverage for Canadians
June 12, 2019 (Ottawa): In response to the report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare today, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) calls upon the federal government to work toward the implementation of timely and practical solutions that enhance coverage and expand access. All Canadians deserve access to the medications that they need to be healthy – it’s time for government to address this important care gap.
“Our focus has always been on helping patients access their medications and providing them with the best possible care, and we’ll continue to advocate on behalf of all of our patients to ensure that our system meets their needs,” says Christine Hrudka, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “The priority should be to enhance access while at the same time avoiding unnecessary disruption in care and improving optimal use of medications.”
As governments consider how to move forward on potential changes, some of the important questions that we believe require further consideration include:
- What timely measures/strategies can be put in place to support those who do not have coverage or who are underinsured?
- How would patients who are currently on medications covered through private plans, but which are not currently covered on public plans, continue their treatment?
- Given the potential costs of the proposed changes, how would the federal government ensure long-term sustainable funding for such a program?
In addition, we have long called for increased focus on optimal drug use, and we were pleased to see the Council acknowledge this by recommending the creation of a national strategy on appropriate prescribing and use of drugs. Be it deprescribing or managing adherence, pharmacists are leading the way and providing advice to patients and prescribers on better medication management.
Furthermore, CPhA is pleased that the Council acknowledges the vital services pharmacists provide to Canadians, particularly their extensive frontline expertise in helping patients navigate their drug plans each and every day.
As noted by the Council, this unique expertise means that pharmacists will have an invaluable role in any transition towards national pharmacare. CPhA looks forward to working closely with the federal government to come up with solutions that address the practical needs of patients in a timely and substantial way.
CPhA wishes to thank the Council for their contribution to the national dialogue on pharmacare.