Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare provides preliminary recommendations to the Government of Canada
March 6, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Canadians are proud of our universal health care system, which provides care based on individual need regardless of ability to pay. However, Canadians face some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world. The existing patchwork of prescription drug coverage is leading to poorer health for some and higher costs for all Canadians. That is why Budget 2018 announced the creation of an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (the Council) to recommend options on how to move forward together on this important subject.
Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, announced that the Government has received an interim report from the Council, chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins.
The report identifies three initial recommendations for the implementation of national pharmacare:
- Creating a national drug agency to oversee national pharmacare;
- Developing a comprehensive, evidence-based list of prescribed drugs – a national formulary – to harmonize coverage across Canada; and
- Investing in data on prescription drugs and information technology systems.
The Government of Canada will consider the Council's initial recommendations while it awaits the final report, which is due in spring 2019.
"Canadians should not have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table. Our Government is committed to exploring a national pharmacare plan that leaves no Canadian behind. I would like to thank the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare for its work to date and I look forward to receiving their final report."
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health
"The Government of Canada is committed to improving the health of families while leaving more money in Canadians' budgets. Lowering drug costs and improving access to needed medications is a key part of that. The Council's report and continued advice will help lay a foundation as our Government further explores a plan for national pharmacare that will benefit all Canadians."
- The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
"The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare is pleased to provide the Government of Canada with this interim report. The Council has engaged thousands of Canadians across the country and has received many useful suggestions on how to improve Canadians' access to prescription drugs."
- Dr. Eric Hoskins, Chair, Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare
- Since its launch in June 2018, the Council has engaged thousands of Canadians from across the country, through stakeholder roundtables, targeted engagement sessions and community town halls with patients and caregivers, healthcare providers, representatives of Indigenous organizations, government officials, industry, labour, employers and academics.
- The Council received more than 150 written submissions from organizations and individuals, and more than 15,000 responses to its online questionnaire.
Media may contact:
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada