Promising recommendations for pharmacare in the Advisory Council’s Interim Report

Ottawa, ON: The Canadian Health Coalition is pleased with the initial recommendations of the Advisory on the Implementation of Pharmacare. In its Interim Report, the Council calls for a national drug agency, a comprehensive, evidence-based national drug formulary, and investment in drug data and information technology. These are essential building blocks for Canada’s new national pharmacare plan. The report also outlined six core principles for national pharmacare.

“This is a positive first step towards developing our universal pharmacare program,” said Melanie Benard, the National Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Canadian Health Coalition. “We’re glad the Council recognizes that everyone in Canada should have access to medications based on need, not on the ability to pay, and that drug coverage should be portable and consistent across the country. This mirrors some of the Pharmacare Consensus Principles that our organization has signed on to.”

Canada is the only country in the world with a universal health care system that doesn’t include coverage of prescription medications. Currently, one in four households can’t afford their prescription medications. “People are skipping doses of their medications because of the costs, and they’re getting sicker as a result. The current system needs to be reformed,” said Pauline Worsfold, RN, Chair of the Canadian Health Coalition.

The Council’s final report, which is set to come out this spring, will provide a road map for that reform. “The Canadian Health Coalition is advocating for a universal pharmacare plan that is publicly financed and administered. We’re optimistic that the Council will guide us in this direction. This is the only way we can ensure that everyone in Canada can access the medications they need,” Benard added.


The Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) is a national organization working to protect and improve public health care in Canada. We are a coalition of health care workers, unions, seniors, community organizations, faith-based organizations and academics, as well as affiliated coalitions in the provinces and one territory.

For more information, please contact: 

Melanie Benard
National Director, Policy and Advocacy
Cell: 343-777-6283,

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Canadian Health Coalition