Social Justice and Democracy

Canada’s unions mark Labour Day with a call for universal pharmacare

August 31, 2017

Canada’s unions are marking this year’s Labour Day with the launch of a campaign calling for universal prescription drug coverage for all Canadians.

“Today, 3.5 million Canadians can’t afford to fill their prescriptions,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. “Nobody should have to choose between paying for groceries or the medication they need,” he added.

Currently one in five people pay out of pocket for their medication, either because they don’t have a prescription drug plan, or because they have a plan that doesn’t cover the full cost of the medications they need.

“Canada’s unions are proud that we’ve won health insurance coverage for many of our members. But we believe anyone with a health card should have coverage for the medication they need,” said Yussuff.

Canada has the second highest prescription drug costs in the world next to the United States, and is also the only developed country in the world with a universal health care program that doesn’t include a universal prescription drug plan. 

A strong majority of Canadians want universal prescription drug coverage. A 2015 Angus Reid poll found that 91 percent of Canadians believe our public health care system should include a universal prescription drug plan.

“This is why we’re working to win a universal prescription drug plan that covers everyone in Canada, regardless of their income, age or where they work or live,” said Yussuff.

Visit aplanforeveryone.ca to learn more. 

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