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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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CPhA welcomes Health Committee's contribution to pharmacare conversation

Looks forward to future discussions to achieve shared goal of ensuring every Canadian has appropriate drug coverage

April 18, 2018 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) welcomes the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health’s report Pharmacare now: Prescription medicine coverage for all Canadians. It’s clear that there is consensus that the status quo is not acceptable. All Canadians should have access to the medication they require regardless of their ability to pay. While we can agree on the goal of pharmacare in Canada, we believe that more discourse and evaluation is needed on how to achieve a pharmacare system that reflects the real needs and priorities of patients.

“As drug experts who understand and manage drug plans for their patients, Canada’s pharmacists are bringing their unique perspective to this discussion and will continue to advocate for a pharmacare strategy that provides coverage to those that need it and who currently do not have it,” said Alistair Bursey, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “We would like to thank the members of the committee who have undertaken a significant study that will help further inform national discussion on pharmacare.”

Pharmacists are on the front lines of this issue. Every day they see the devastating impacts that their patients experience when they cannot access their medications. Last December, in anticipation of a significant national conversation on pharmacare in 2018, the Canadian Pharmacists Association presented an alternative plan that would allow governments to address the priorities Canadians have identified in terms closing the coverage gaps, ensuring comprehensive access to medications, and leveraging pharmacist care to get the most out of medication use in Canada.

Pharmacists have proposed a framework for a new health accord on pharmacare between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and are calling on governments to actively commit to developing a PharmAccord that would:

  • close the gaps in coverage for Canadians, while maintaining a mixed public-private system;
  • harmonize catastrophic drug coverage;
  • develop a minimum comprehensive national drug formulary;
  • ensure the drug system is both affordable and sustainable; and,
  • leverage the experience and knowledge of pharmacists to provide better care to patients, at a lower cost to government.

CPhA commends the federal government for the creation of an advisory council to examine and consult on the implementation of pharmacare across Canada. The report from the Standing Committee on Health will be an important input into this process, along with that of many experts. We strongly recommend that the new advisory council be comprised of Canadians with a range of expertise, viewpoints and firsthand experience in drug coverage, including frontline pharmacists. Pharmacists look forward to engaging the government’s pharmacare advisory council to address the gaps in Canadians' drug coverage.

Further Information: Rx: PharmAccord – A Prescription for a Healthier Canada

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.