Pharmacare

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Canada Must Follow Ontario's Pharmacare Example

Ontario has been the site of dueling pharmacare proposals and Canadians are the victors. At the end of April, the opposition NDP promised universal drug coverage for a list of essential medicines. Not to be outdone, the ruling Liberal party announced universal coverage for all drugs on the provincial formulary for youth under 25 years of age. Most health policy experts praised both proposals, myself included.
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4 Reasons Canada Needs Universal Pharmacare Now

Several national commissions on Canada's health care system have recommended adding prescription drugs to our publicly funded universal medicare system. No federal government has ever acted on those recommendations. Not yet, anyhow. By creating 'pharmacare-junior,' Premier Wynne and Minister Hoskins are in essence calling on the federal government to help finish the job and create a pharmacare program for all Canadians of all ages.
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Canada Needs A Strategy To Improve Senior Drug Safety

Many drugs prescribed to seniors have either not been adequately studied for this age group or have not been formally approved for the conditions they are being prescribed to treat. They are sometimes prescribed without any evidence they are safe and effective for them, and in some cases, even when they are known to present a possible risk (antipsychotics prescribed to older patients with dementia, for example).
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It's Time For Big Pharma To Open Up About Drug Safety And Effectiveness

If Canada is to implement national pharmacare, surely we want to know more about the drugs we'll be paying for. To this end, we must tackle a pre-existing challenge: we must open up the evidence our drug regulator houses concerning drug safety and effectiveness. For decades Health Canada has kept that information confidential at the behest of drug manufacturers. This practice limits the ongoing evaluation of a drug's safety and effectiveness and, in turn, provincial and territorial governments' decision-making about which drugs to pay for, not to mention physicians and patients who make decisions about which drugs to prescribe and take.
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Health Minister Philpott Needs To Attach Strings To Health-Care Dollars

In his letter to the minister, Prime Minister Trudeau tasked Health Minister Philpott with "engaging provinces and territories in the development of a new, multi-year Health Accord with long-term funding agreement." As the health ministers meet in Vancouver, how can they bend the curve toward a less costly and more effective health care system? How can they ensure the funds invested this time around will buy real improvements in health?
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Health Ministers' Meeting Is A Chance To Talk Expanded Access For Patients

Canada's health system needs reform -- although provincial and territorial ministers might think reform is about cost cutting, I would argue that real reform is about putting patients first. As the chair of an organization representing 23 patient groups from across the country, I have seen too many conversations focused on reducing the budget impact of medications through pricing.
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What's Next For Prescription Drug Coverage In Canada?

Too few Canadians have access to medically necessary prescription drugs. Canada is the only country with a universal health care system that does not include prescription drugs. This has created a paradox where Canadians can see their doctor at no cost but many have no ability to purchase the drugs that they are prescribed and that they need for good health. One in 10 Canadians doesn't take a prescription as directed because of cost.
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Is Health Care Finally Becoming the Election Issue it Should Be?

National drug coverage has long been a priority for the more than one in five Canadian households that can't afford to buy needed prescription medicines. But in spite of decades of calls for a new program, the idea seemed not ready for primetime. The cost of national pharmacare was seen to be too great in a time of low political appetite for new universal benefits. But it turns out that pharmacare isn't a money sucker -- it's a money saver.