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Thread: Pharmacare - an Election Issue

Created on: Sep 02, 2019 @ 01:07 PM
Replies: 0
Pharmacare - an Election Issue
Sep 02, 2019 @ 1:07 PM
CNPAHEALTHCARECOMMITTEE
Rank #10


Joined: Jul 20, 2017
Posts: 15

1

Pharmacare, the time to act is now
For almost the last two years we have been talking about Pharmacare. Why?
It was then that the Federal Government stated they were going to study the notion of a
Universal Drug plan for all Canadians. In 2018, a Federal Advisory Committee was established
under the chairmanship of Dr. Eric Hoskins, the former Minister of Health for Ontario.
Dr Hoskins, along with his team were tasked with learning about the issues and making a
recommendation to Government by June of 2019. During that period, they accepted
submissions and spoke with Canadians through town hall meetings across Canada.
The CNPA made one of the 150 submissions and we also attended several of the town hall
meetings to express our views on your behalf.
We have to remember two critical factors affecting all of us when it comes to drug coverage
and prices in Canada. First, Canadians pay the highest drug costs in the world, behind only the
United States and Switzerland. Second, we are the only G20 Country with a Universal Health
Care Plan that does not have a Universal Drug Plan.
CN Pensioners are an important group when it comes to Drug Coverage. People in Canada
over the age of 70 consume over 55% of all drugs prescribed by Doctors. With all of us on
fixed incomes, it is important that we can afford those drugs, many of which help us survive or
lead a healthy life. The current provincial drug programs go from non-existent, to sparse
coverage or senior only coverage. Many of our pensioners do not have any coverage, and do
not take their required drugs because of the cost.
The Good News
The Committee reported and RECOMMENDED the government implements Universal Drug
Coverage for all Canadians and that it be FULLY implemented by 2027. Under their
recommendations, in addition to universal coverage, there is a recommendation for either $2
or $5 co-pays per prescription with an annual maximum of only $100. This means, no matter
where you live in Canada, if you have a $20 or $500 prescription every month, you would pay
no more than maybe $2, and every necessary required drug would be covered, whether you
are 20 or 90 years of age.
But this does not come cheap. The cost of a plan like this is about $11 Billion per year. This
means the Government needs to find money to pay for it. There are savings that go along with
it, and efficiencies which will reduce that cost. Either way, there should be no turning back.
Drug prices are rising 4 to 8 % per year, new and better treatments are expensive so the time to
act is NOW. Such a system would also produce federal government administrative savings of
$4.2 Billion annually and restrain escalating drug prices. Without a national Pharmacare Plan,
we have over 3 million Canadians who are uninsured or underinsured for prescription drugs.
Unfortunately, there is essentially nothing currently being done with this report as we are
heading into an election in October.
Will the Government that is elected accept AND implement the report? Will the government be
swayed by the Lobbyists, the Insurance companies and Drug companies, all of whom do not
want to see this happen, primarily because of the loss of profits? Will the Provinces get on
board to support a Federal plan? You need to ask those questions of your politicians.
This is where all of us come in. We need to get out and vote, and we also need to question
those politicians on their position with respect to Health Care. If they do not commit to this
Drug Plan fully, including the recommended implementation timeline, they do not deserve your
vote and, deserve to be rejected. This needs to be the single most important election issue and
WE CANNOT WAIT.
To see the entire report or various sections of it, you can go to our website, cnpensioners.org
and click on Healthcare. Under that section click on Pharmacare - an Election Issue. It will direct
you to the Government website that contains the full report. If you have questions of us, please
write us at CNPAHEALTH@gmail.com
Sincerely,
Yves G. Bourdon
President
CNPA – National Council
Cc – B. Olson - Chairman - CNPA National Health Care Committee
J. H. Houston - CNPA Federal Government Liaison Officer
Pharmacare - an Election Issue (and links to the following websites)
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/about-health-canada/publicengagement/external-advisory-bodies/implementation-national-pharmacare/final-report.html
Pharmacare - un enjeu électoral
https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/organisation/a-propos-sante-canada/mobilisationpublique/organismes-consultatifs-externes/mise-en-oeuvre-regime-assurancemedicaments/rapport-final.html

 

 

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