Canada’s unions welcome first steps on pharmacare

March 6, 2019

Canada’s unions welcome the interim report presented today by the federal Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.

Its key recommendations begin to address the existing inefficiencies in an unfair system that leaves millions of Canadians unable to afford their prescriptions and grappling with the third highest drug prices in the world.

“The recommendations in today’s report have the potential to increase access and move to lower costs if implemented alongside a universal, national, public pharmacare program,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

The Advisory Council undertook extensive consultations with Canadians. Their findings confirm what studies and polls have clearly shown: the current system is broken and leaves too many Canadians without the coverage they need. More than 3.6 million Canadians cannot afford to fill their prescriptions, according to government estimates.

“The creation of a national drug agency and the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based national drug formulary are significant changes that will move Canada in the right direction,” said Yussuff. “Delivering this through a pharmacare model designed similarly to Medicare will ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has access to the medications they need, as they do right now with hospitals and doctors,” he continued.

Over the past two years, the Canadian Labour Congress has been campaigning for a universal pharmacare plan. Over that time, 108,000 people have signed a petition, 26,000 emailed their Member of Parliament and nearly 14,000 made submissions to the Advisory Council urging for the adoption of a universal single-payer public model. This campaign is supported by recent public opinion polls that show 88% of Canadians support a single-payer universal pharmacare program.

“Canadians need a universal pharmacare system and Canada’s unions will be looking to the final report for a comprehensive blueprint for the implementation of a public universal model of pharmacare,” he continued.

Related Articles

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

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…
Read More

Time for Pride celebration, and resistance to attacks on human rights, say Canada’s unions

As Pride events are held in communities across the country, Canada’s unions are celebrating the achievements of LGBTQ2SI activism from coast to coast, while committing to challenging the rise of racism and hate politics threatening human rights around the world. “Pride season is an important moment to come together and celebrate the victories and visibility of LGBTQ2SI activism in our…
Read More

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) releases detailed analysis of Budget 2019

The 2019 federal budget was released on Tuesday, March 19 and despite being the last budget before this fall’s federal election, sets out only a modest fiscal plan rather than a bold vision for the future. The CLC, which represents over 3 million Canadian workers, issued an immediate response to the budget but is now releasing a more detailed budget…
Read More