Pharmacists support government commitment to improve drug coverage for Canadians
February 27, 2018 (Ottawa): The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is pleased that the 2018 federal budget commits to looking at pharmacare options through the establishment of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, to be chaired by former Ontario Health Minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins.
As Canada’s drug experts, who manage drug plans and patients’ drug access every day, we are very much looking forward to a national discussion on pharmacare. We believe pharmacists will bring forward a unique and practical perspective on improving medication access to Dr. Hoskins’ pharmacare advisory council and look forward to being at that table.
“I see firsthand the difficulties my patients face when they cannot afford the medications they need to be healthy. This is unacceptable, and we are encouraged that the federal government will be looking at options for how to best serve these patients,” says Alistair Bursey, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association.
In December 2017, CPhA presented some potential options for a “PharmAccord” plan that could help close the coverage gap for uninsured and underinsured Canadians, ensure comprehensive access to medications and leverage pharmacist care to better utilize medications and improve patient outcomes.
One aspect of pharmacare, often overlooked, is the appropriate use of medications. Pharmacists are well positioned to support and promote optimal drug therapy, which will not only improve overall health, but save money for the health care system in the future. Pharmacists see patients who are on too many medications, or who aren’t taking them as directed, and so we believe that an important aspect of any pharmacare plan is the quality of care and support for patients to get the most from their medications.
Other measures in Budget 2018:
In addition to the government’s commitment on pharmacare, we are also pleased to see some additional investments and measures in certain key areas:
- Increasing investments for CIHR by $354M over 5 years (with $90M per year ongoing)
- Significant investments of $231M over 5 years towards tackling Canada’s opioid crisis
- Taxation measures that will support patients in accessing cannabis for medical purposes
- Funding to educate Canadians on the risks associated with cannabis use
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.