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Saskatchewan Health Coalition welcomes the introduction of the Pharmacare Act, alongside fellow advocates

The Saskatchewan Health Coalition has endorsed the following statement from the Canadian Health Coalition. To see the statement on the CHC website, list of other endorsers, and to learn how to add your organization to the list, click here.

Canadian Health Coalition members welcome the introduction of the Pharmacare Act

Members of the Canadian Health Coalition welcome the introduction of the Pharmacare Act. This landmark legislation is an important first step in continuing progress toward a universal national pharmacare program.  

Canada is the only country in the world that has a universal health care system that does not include universal coverage for prescription drugs outside of hospitals.  

Pharmacare is needed urgently to improve the health of those living in Canada. One-in-five people report they do not have access to prescription drug insurance. Low-wage workers, immigrants, and racialized people are hit hardest.  

In addition, the overall cost of drugs to the health system must be reduced. According to Health Canada, prices for prescription drugs in Canada are roughly 25 percent above the median of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. A single-payer pharmacare system with the power of bulk purchasing is the best route to negotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers. 

Health Coalition members have called for the creation of a universal pharmacare program for more than two decades. We endorse heartily the recommendation of the 2019 National Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, led by Dr. Eric Hoskins, that, “the federal government work with provincial and territorial governments to establish a universal, single-payer, public system of prescription drug coverage in Canada.”

A nation-wide program to achieve public coverage for contraception and diabetes medicine and related equipment, delivered by a single-payer approach through provincial public health systems is a historic step in the direction recommended by the Hoskins report on pharmacare.

But there are many more steps ahead to achieve universal coverage of a national formulary of medicines. We urge the government to ensure the legislation adheres to single-payer, universal, public delivery in partnership with provinces and territories, along with adequate funding and accountability measures, in accordance with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

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