Social Justice and Democracy

Canada’s unions say pharmacare council gets it right, now governments must act

June 12, 2019

Canada’s unions are applauding the recommendation made by the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare for the adoption of a public, universal and single-payer plan for prescription drug coverage across Canada.

“Universal pharmacare will fundamentally improve the lives of all Canadians and, with this report, we finally have a blueprint for completing the medicare system Canada first adopted back in 1966,” said Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President Hassan Yussuff. “Canada’s unions have been a leading voice advocating for a public, universal and single-payer plan and today’s report shows that the Advisory Council has listened to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who demanded a pharmacare plan for everyone.”

In their final report, released today, the Council concluded that Canada’s current patchwork system of prescription drug coverage is inadequate, unfair and inefficient. It is a conclusion long supported by public opinion, health economists and medical professionals, but one that has been vigorously opposed by big pharma and the insurance lobby. Despite industry pressure, the Council has recommended that the federal government work with the provinces to implement a universal pharmacare program.

“The evidence overwhelmingly shows that a public universal pharmacare program will provide equal access and coverage for all Canadians, reduce drug prices, and save employers and taxpayers billions of dollars,” said Yussuff. “While Canada’s unions do not support the copayments and user fees in the report, the report clearly charts a path in the right direction.”

Recent polls show that 89% of Canadians consistently say they support universal public pharmacare. Canada remains the only country with a national medicare program that doesn’t provide national coverage for pharmacare.

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to fully embrace the report and work together to accelerate its implementation.

“Everyone with a health card in this country should be able to access the prescription medications they need,” said Yussuff. “This report lays out a roadmap to universal pharmacare and now it is up to governments to follow it. There is no doubt this will be a ballot box question in the federal election.”

Tags: Pharmacare
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Labour celebrating historic wins – but the fight is not over

    June 21, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions: workers have waited long enough to pass Bill C-64, An Act Respecting Pharmacare

    June 18, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • One step closer to universal pharmacare for Canadians

    June 4, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Statement from Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress on the news about NDP/Liberal negotiations on pharmacare:

    February 23, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Statement by Bea Bruske: Conservatives stand against workers

    February 7, 2024
    Click to open the link
  • Social Justice and Democracy
  • Canada’s unions welcome the expansion of Canadian Dental Care Plan

    December 11, 2023
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Workers mobilize on the Hill to urge MPs to act as families continue to struggle

    November 28, 2023
    Click to open the link
  • Jobs, Economy and Environment
  • Stop making those with the least bear the burden of tough economic times

    November 20, 2023
    Click to open the link
  • Gender Equality
  • International Day of Care and Support: Care workers deserve care too

    October 29, 2023
    Click to open the link