(Unsplash)

Expert panel recommends Canada implement single-payer pharmacare plan

Plan wouldn’t be in place for at least 10 years

An expert panel is calling for the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to create a single-payer national pharmacare plan to cover every Canadian.

Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s former health minister, released the findings in Ottawa, giving advice on how to address the country’s patchwork of private and public prescription-drug plans.

Canada has a variety of drug plans administered by provinces, mainly for children, seniors and people on social assistance.

Other plans managed by the federal government cover other groups, such as Indigenous people and members of the military, while private insurance fills the gaps for some.

Hoskins’ council is recommending a new drug agency that would be responsible for developing a national list of prescription drugs, known as a formulary, beginning with common or so-called essential medicines by Jan. 1, 2022.

It also recommends that the initial formulary expand to a “fully comprehensive formulary” no later than Jan. 1, 2027.

“Our council has heard the stories of thousands of Canadians and listened to a wide range of perspectives,” Hoskins said in the report, entitled “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All.”

“The time for universal, single-payer, public pharmacare has come … Let’s complete the unfinished business of universal health care. That can be our promise, and our legacy, to each other and to all future generations.”

The council says universal, single-payer public pharmacare will provide access to prescription medications for all Canadians, including an estimated one in five Canadians who are either uninsured or underinsured.

The plan, once implemented, will result in an estimated $5 billion in savings, the council said, adding that savings for Canadians will be on average $350 per year.

In its last budget, the Liberal government pledged to create a new agency to buy drugs in bulk and cut Canadian medication costs as the first step toward a national drug plan.

ALSO READ: B.C. Pharmacare expanding use of ‘biosimilar’ drugs to save money

ALSO READ: Canada needs new agency to oversee pharmacare program, panel says

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Clipper suspends services through April 2021

International travel restrictions, COVID-19 uncertainty lead to decision

Who is the average Sookie?

Statistics Canada, community members offer glimpse into who the people of Sooke are

Storytime transformed in Saanich Peninsula parks

Saanich Peninsula Literacy offering free self-guided StoryWalks

UPDATED: Power restored to Metchosin, Colwood

Monday morning outage impacts more than 2,600 BC Hydro customers

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Most Read