Why National Pharmacare?

Marissa Semkiw, CARP’s Director of Policy and Government Relations, speaks at a press conference in Ottawa in February 2018 to support the call for National Pharmacare.
If you haven’t lived in another province, you may not realize that Canadians don’t have equal access to prescription medications.
“In Canada, drug programs vary by province. Some are income-based, while others have high deductibles and co-payments. As a result, access to medication is deeply fragmented,” said Marissa Semkiw, CARP’s Director of Policy and Government Relations. ”Canada is the only developed country in the world with a universal healthcare system that doesn’t also have universal drug coverage.”
That’s why CARP, together with the Canadian Labour of Congress, Canadian Doctors for Medicare, and Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, is calling
for national pharmacare.

It’s Time For Change

By adopting a universal prescription drug plan, Canadians will save billions through bulk purchasing power. Overall health care costs will decline and our population’s health will improve.
Two reports released in September 2017 demonstrate that a national pharmacare plan will save Canada billions of dollars. The first, released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Canadian Doctors for Medicare, estimates almost $11 billion a year in savings. The second, a more conservative report released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, estimates federal savings of $4.2 billion a year.

Are seniors affected?

A number of provincial plans offer some form of coverage for individuals 65 and older, creating the misconception that seniors aren’t affected. But these programs vary by province. Some are income-based, as is the case in British Columbia, and thus exclude many retirees. Others have higher deductibles and potentially prohibitive co-payments, like Nova Scotia.