Social Justice and Democracy

CLC President Hassan Yussuff says new Advisory Council has to get pharmacare right

June 20, 2018

Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff reacted with optimism and anticipation to today’s announcement of the appointees to Canada’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.

“I am excited to welcome the six appointees to Canada’s newly minted pharmacare advisory council. They have an important job ahead of them and Canada’s unions are ready and willing to work with Dr. Eric Hoskins and the Council to make sure that we get pharmacare right for everyone,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Advisory Council Chair Eric Hoskins unveiled the team the government has assembled to develop a plan to implement a national pharmacare program earlier today. Details of the Advisory Council’s plans for public consultations have yet to be revealed, however the government has launched online consultations.

“Pharmacare is the unfinished business of medicare and Canadians have been waiting since 1966 for publicly administered universal prescription drug coverage,” said Yussuff. “As I travelled the country, I heard from Canadians who are struggling with insufficient coverage, increasing co-payments, restrictions and limitations that make every day a struggle. We hope this Council will give voice to those people and inspire confidence that the health of their families will no longer be a financial burden.”

In fall 2017, the CLC launched “Pharmacare: A Plan for Everyone”, a national campaign that included a cross-country tour to highlight the failures of Canada’s inefficient patchwork system of prescription drug coverage. Studies show that 3.5 million people are unable to afford to fill their prescriptions. Many are splitting their pills or skipping days to stretch the prescriptions they do fill.

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