Pharmacare motion passes unanimously in the House:

Another victory on the path towards universal, public pharmacare!

Ottawa: The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) congratulates the House of Commons for unanimously supporting the NDP’s motion on universal, public pharmacare today. The motion called on the government to implement the recommendations of the Advisory Council on National Pharmacare and to immediately begin negotiations with the provinces to make this program a reality.

“This is another important milestone in the path towards achieving universal, public pharmacare”, said Melanie Benard, the CHC’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy. “We’re thrilled to see the parties working together to support this new program that will help so many Canadians.”

Canada is the only country in the world with a universal health care system that doesn’t coverage prescription medications. Currently, nearly one in four households can’t afford their medications. One million Canadians are having to choose between food and heat or buying the medication they need.

“The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how critical it is to ensure that everyone has equitable access to life-saving medications”, said Benard. “At times like these, patients who can’t afford their medication are at increased risk of health complications. People are suffering needlessly without adequate drug coverage. That’s unacceptable.”

Pharmacare would reduce the burdens on the health care system by keeping patients healthier and preventing unnecessary hospital visits. It would also drastically reduce the prices we pay for medications through bulk purchasing. According to the Advisory Council, pharmacare would save Canadians five billion dollars per year.

Last month, the NDP presented a private member’s bill on pharmacare that would lay the groundwork for this new program. The bill calls for a program that would universal, public, comprehensive, accessible and portable. Benard says these developments in the House show that Parliament is finally ready to take action on this issue. “Canadians are counting on this government to keep its promises and to adopt universal, public pharmacare now.”


For more information:

Contact Melanie Benard
National Director, Policy and Advocacy

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Canadian Health Coalition