CPhA welcomes federal budget commitments for further collaboration on key health issues
March 19, 2019 (Ottawa): On behalf of Canada’s 42,000 pharmacists, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes many of the measures announced in the 2019 federal budget, including the important commitment to collaborate with health stakeholders, specifically on national pharmacare and a new national drug agency.
As Canada’s medication experts, pharmacists are the last point of contact between patients and their medications. This is why we believe that we need to improve drug access for Canadians. Unfortunately, cost barriers and growing drug shortages are jeopardizing access for many patients.
The three pharmacare related commitments in today’s budget signal an undertaking to reform Canada’s approach to drug access. We look forward to providing a frontline pharmacist perspective to the Government to ensure that the proposed agency, the national formulary and the rare disease strategy meet the needs of our patients. We also look forward to seeing recommendations from the Pharmacare Advisory Council that will not disrupt patient care, complete coverage for those who need it most, and ensure optimal drug utilization.
“A survey released today suggests that 40% of patients are not taking their medications properly, which can lead to adverse health effects, unnecessary hospitalizations and medication wastage,” said Christine Hrudka, CPhA Chair. “We believe it’s essential that the federal government engages with Canadian pharmacists to discuss a comprehensive approach to medication care in Canada that improves overall access in a sustainable way.”
CPhA also welcome the Government’s ongoing commitment to address the opioid crisis in Canada through targeted investments to support access to a safe supply of prescription opioids and protect people with problematic opioid use from the risks of overdose and death.
“This crisis has gripped all of us, and pharmacists are doing amazing work in preventing opioid misuse as part of harm reduction programs across the country. With further changes in regulations at the federal level, pharmacists could be doing even more,” added Christine Hrudka.
Lastly, CPhA continues to advocate for a medical cannabis stream that does not penalize patients. While we believe that the Government’s approach to limit taxation for some products that are used by patients is a positive first step, it does not recognize the unique needs of patients.
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.