Objectives of a National Pharmacare Program | National Pharmacare Online Consultation | Let's Talk Health

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Objectives of a National Pharmacare Program

3 months ago

Pharmacare is a system of health insurance that provides people with access to necessary prescription drugs. Its design can be determined by a number of factors, including which population groups are targeted, which types of drugs are covered, and how it is financed.

Most Canadians have some form of prescription drug coverage, but the terms of coverage vary considerably, leaving many households facing cost barriers when they have prescriptions to fill.

What do you feel should be the objectives of a national pharmacare program for Canadians? Share your thoughts below:
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  • windsor 2 days ago
    I believe that all patients in Canada receiving oral medications outside of the healthcare system as part of their ongoing healthcare, should be able to receive their drugs through a National Pharmacare Program. This is particularly important for patients receiving specialty drugs which are usually very costly. The current patchwork of drug reimbursements in Canada means that many patients have to pay large out of pocket co-pays, rely on a patchwork of employer based insurance programs, or partially funded provincial programs which are not equitably sustainable or accessible to all Canadians. Additionally, patients are forced to rely on third party programs to help them reduce their co-pays for these medically necessary expensive drugs. We are aware that the model for receiving oral cancer medications, for example, directly through hospital pharmacy already works, as this is what is happening in B.C. This should be available to all Canadians. Canada is the only OECD country with a national healthcare program that does not have a national pharmacare program. As Canadians, we all need to finish what Tommy Douglas started, we need to have a national healthcare program that includes a national pharmacare program.
  • drugsforK 2 days ago
    I think starting with children is a good idea. Limitations/criteria should be minimal and determined by physicians. We need to have flexibility for the science to change.
  • bcjcw1 3 days ago
    The goal must be optimal health and wellness for all, or as close to that as we can get! We will save billions of dollars in reactive healthcare costs, our productivity as a nation will increase, our seniors care costs will go down - what's not to like?
  • SustainabilityFirst 2 months ago
    A national pharmacare program should fill in any gaps in coverage so that no Canadian have to go without necesssary medication due to cost or lack of coverage. The program should be sustainable and means tested so that those at higher income brackets pay more, similar to how the Trillium program in Ontario is currently constructed. Once any income based deductibles are satisfied, there should be no additional copayment requirements. The program should be carefully constructed to cover a limited formulary of evidence-based cost-effective medications, rather than being expected to cover every single drug ever launched. Finally, the program needs to ensure that patients are able to receive care from pharmacists that are able to practice to their full capabilities and training, as pharmacists in Alberta are able to do.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • Hilberto 2 months ago
    • Surfergirl 3 days ago
      Providing something that just fills in the gaps of what is presently available will not help reduce the overall cost of pharmacare. Canadians who have some coverage will not be able to access the power of bulk purchasing. Life saving drugs that allow Canadians to continue to work and pay taxes and earn higher incomes should not have to pay a penalty because they are diagnosed with a rare life threatening disease that requires a costly life saving drug. Which is what the Trillium plan does now. So, I disagree with your definition of a National Pharmacare system as it prejudices fellow Canadians. We already know that the current patchwork system is not fair, equitable or sustainable, so why should we add another 'patch'?
  • HighBushCranberry 3 days ago
    The objective should be that all Canadians should have access to the drugs they have been prescribed without paying directly for them. This would improve the health of many low income Canadians. It would mean fewer demands on other parts of the health care system, better outcomes for the patients, and in the long run might even pay for itself.
  • Cronic Crohnie 3 days ago
    I am wholeheartedly in favour of any National Pharmacare plan that covers all Canadians. Many provinces & territories already have the framework in place through private/ public insurance, take advantage of the ones that are working and implement this for everyone.My current prescription costs are in the 10's of thousands of dollars a year, to keep me healthy and on my feet. I currently have 3 drug plans just to cover the cost, regularly maxing out 2, with my spouses plan covering 80%+ of the yearly bill.If I am to look at my situation purely on a personal level, if these costs were to be put onto a National Pharmacare plan I would still be putting more into the Canadian economy than I cost it. I have known many adults of working age bounce in and out of hospitals just to be able to receive their medications, putting a strain on the already over stretched healthcare system. Just think if they were able to live their life normally, they could hold down a steady job, buy a house, give back to our communities.
  • Alpha1retired 7 days ago
    I am not in favour of a national pharmacare program at this time. I reiterate that a health care program aimed at disease prevention I’d needed.
  • Surfergirl 26 days ago
    A National Pharmacare program must provide all Canadians with fair and equitable access to any medications they are prescribed, to treat any illness they have been diagnosed with, without having to have conversations about total household incomes, co-pays and insurance premiums. In other words the National Pharmacare program would provide prescription drug coverage just as if the person receiving it was in the hospital. No discussions of financial considerations or ability to pay. Access is based on need. In the case of costly specialty medications, these medications should be provided to the patients from the hospital pharmacy. Current insurance and benefits programs should cover only, vision, dental, physiotherapy and any non medically necessary programs.While it is true that most Canadians have some form of prescription drug coverage, insurance coverage through employers is not ideal, particularly in the case of an employee needing access to costly specialty medication. I am aware of incidents where employees have been identified to their employers by the insurance provider because the cost of the specialty drug is driving up group insurance premiums. No one should have to face such discrimination.A National Pharmacare program would also allow for physicians and hospital networks to monitor and collect data from their patients in the form of registries, which would provide a better understanding of how the drugs are actually working (or not). Doctors and patients could work directly together to manage side effects, address adherence issues and manage any concerns of the patients. Currently patients have to go through pharmacists, nurses and support programs when they should be working more directly with their healthcare team and prescribing doctor.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 5 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • Migalsal 25 days ago
      Do most young Canadians have insurance? What percentage of our under 40 workforce are in jobs that are contract or work for small companies with no insurance?
      • gophers 24 days ago
        Statistically these people are a small proportion of overall healthcare spending. The reality is a program like this will be a wealth transfer from younger and middle aged workers to older people who should have saved in the past. (I am a young person, I don't have coverage as a choice. When you aren't sprendthrift, you can afford these things)
      • Surfergirl 20 days ago
        You raise a good point, unfortunately more Canadians are agreeing to work contract which means they do not get the benefit of group health insurance. I am aware of many cases where employees who have been in the workforce for years were terminated, yet offered to continuing working on the basis of working under contract. Sometimes these things happen just when the employee is at the age of probably needing some drugs, due to high blood pressure or other age related diseases. To directly quote a study done by Intuit: 'A study by Intuit Canada projects that full– and part-time freelancers, independent contractors and on-demand workers are expected to make up 45 per cent of the work force by 2020. As more offices move towards a blended work force, company leaders will be responsible for shaping office culture to benefit from the growing freelance economy, take advantage of shared workspace environments and better accommodate remote workers so that all employees can contribute positively to the culture.' you can read about here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/leadership-lab/canadas-work-force-the-trends-that-shaped-2017-and-looking-ahead-to-2018/article37683943/ IMPORTANTLY, I want to point out that it should NEVER be implied that people who need very expensive life saving drugs have not developed illnesses because of poor lifestyle choices. For many types of rare diseases including rare cancers, there is no known cause. You can be eating right, and living a very healthy active lifestyle and still develop a serious illness. From my perspective, I do not think this is a wealthy, middle class or below average income point. The point is, if you go to the hospital, the healthcare team does not stand over you and ask to see your income tax returns before deciding whether they want to administer to your health. Why then, if there happens to be an oral drug that is life saving and allows you to be treated at home, should these very same patients be asked to divulge their total household income in order to obtain access to the treatments they need and would have otherwise been administered in the hospital under our National Healthcare program? Additionally the government has said that we can already afford this and in fact, we can expect to save billions of dollars by implementing such a program. It's disturbing that any Canadian would bring up the U S Healthcare situation in any positive light. It is a disaster. The very same drugs we have in Canada are 3 X more expensive in the U.S. The reason drugs are so much more expensive in the U.S. is because it is a capitalistic, for profit system with virtually no pricing controls. All other OECD countries that have a national healthcare program, also have national pharmacare program except for Canada. The time is now..we need this desperately.
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      Surfergirl, do you work for Big Pharma? " Doctors and patients could work directly together to manage side effects, address adherence issues and manage any concerns of the patients." sounds like you do. Managing side effects is a euphemism for prescribing more toxic drugs that mask symptoms.Managing "adherence" is simply forcing unsuspecting sick person to force the poison down the throat without admitting that it causes more harm than it helps!And lastly "manage any concerns of the patients" is copout where the poorly educated doctor tells poorly educated patient "it's incurable" or "get used to it" or better "it's age, genetics or nobody knows why" All of them sick people hear in Canada on daily basis. This is the Drug driven medicine: ineffective, wasteful and harmful. Do we want it to be universal and paid out of our taxes? NO!!!!!!!
      • Surfergirl 9 days ago
        Hollymackerel, No, in fact I do not work for big pharma. I do know that Canadians are benefiting from important innovative medicines that are in fact saving their lives. But it should not cause them to go bankrupt while trying to pay for them. If you are paying close attention, big pharma does not want a National Pharmacare program, because along with it comes the ability to negotiate better/fairer drug prices for all Canadians. Furthermore, real cures are happening, just look around you.
  • username2018 26 days ago
    Forget it - get the government out of our lives, especially the federal government! Hey federal government - you are in DEBT. You can not afford any new programs at all. My wallet is for my pharmacare, not paying for other people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 10 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      Hi username. You are right. It's about money and it's about getting it from us, Canadians.And for what? Toxic drugs that cover up the symptoms?
  • healthy 26 days ago
    It should be universal effectively eliminating the need for private coverage. Private coverage is limited, not transferable, expensive and inequitable.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 4 Disagree 5 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • gophers 24 days ago
      Why should rich people get it?
      • hollymackerel 9 days ago
        Gophers, rich people can afford the medicine you can't. They know that drugs don't cure anybody. They pay for homeopathic, holistic, intergrative, functional medicine that works. No drug, chemo or operations fro them. This National Dug Plan will only expand to serve drug companies to drug to no end poor Canadians who are made believe that their condition is "incurable" and they have to pop the toxic pill for the rest of their lives. What a calamity.
  • Worldtraveller 30 days ago
    Fill the gap ... no Canadian should be denied access to effective drugs due to income.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (3)
    • phamde 29 days ago
      I agree. Limit to filling the gap, not duplicating and benefiting to what is already available from Employers and private sector.
    • gophers 24 days ago
      Yes, but this won't be like that. We all know this is going to be a program where middle class and upper class Canadians benefit, because if it were a program targeted solely to the poor, the Government wouldn't get enough support.
      • hollymackerel 9 days ago
        Upper class Canadians can afford to prevent and get cured paying for effective medicine in the complementary field like for Holistic, Functional, Integrative and Naturopathic medicine, and only poor, uneducated Canadians are drugged to no end to their misery with ineffective toxic drugs. Should we expand this? You know the answer.
  • Legend 27 days ago
    The elephant in the room is the fact we have no accountability in our health care system. The abuse is abhorrent. Most people think it is free and run to their doctor for every little ache and pain. Doctors prescribe drugs as a means to placate the patient.Does anyone know or measure what percentage of doctor visits and prescriptions are unnecessary? We cannot ask this question for fear of societal and political reprisal, as a consequence we propose an even further expansion of "free health care"?We really need to stop the nonsense.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 11 Disagree 2 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • armynorb 26 days ago
      Now, just imagine that at the federal level!! It will be a total boondoggle... an EXPENSIVE boondoggle
      • gophers 24 days ago
        The Feds can't even pay their own employees - regardless of the party in power - and it cost them >$2billion to register all the long guns in this country. To buy billions of dollars in pharmaceuticals each year, oi, I can only image what kind of bill we are going to get for that.
    • gophers 24 days ago
      In Sweden they had a Soviet-Canadian style healthcare system until the early '90's, when they're equivalent of the NDP realised this and slapped an ~$10 payment on each visit to the doctor. Solved the problem.
      • hollymackerel 9 days ago
        Yeah! Let's make this happen! People will think twice if they have to pay nominal fee of $10 for each visit to a doctor. And at the end of hospital stay they'll get a bill that has to be paid and then sent to the OHIP for reimbursement. Then and only then we'll see accountability on behalf of the system to really become effective in curing people not in perpetuating the state of disease, because there are no incurable diseases only the doctors who do not know how to cure them.
  • Paddington12 22 days ago
    There should not be a national pharmacare program. When we're in massive debt and running a huge deficit, why would we spend more? Low income families already get assistance with health care. Also, health care is provincial. The federal government should focus on federal issues, not provincial.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      Wrong. All Canadians should be able to access equal coverage across Canada. The federal government has greater spending power than the provinces and can get better prices for the medications. We need a program that is universal in scope, not a patchwork of coverage across provinces.
      • hollymackerel 9 days ago
        The federal government has no money! They take our money! Our taxes will pay for that TOXIC DRUG "free-for-all". Wake up. Do you want to pay for toxic drugs that never healed anybody from any chronic, degenerative autoimmune condition? This DRUG system is set up to milk us forever! This is wrong, immoral and serves no Canadian, just American Drug companies.
  • JC_ONT about 1 month ago
    As a community pharmacist currently working in Ontario, I'm surprise this national counsel made zero mention of consulting any pharmacist, who understands each province's drug coverage the most. In Ontario, the public drug benefit program currently covers just less than half all available drug molecule in Canada (4,400 out of around 10, 000). We currently have OHIP+ which covers 0 to 24 year olds for free. Seniors over 65 years old have income tested benefit, those with low income (<19k for single or <32k for couple) have a $2 copay per prescription drug and those with incomes above that have $100 annual copay and $6.11 copay per prescription. Those between the age of 25 to 64 have coverage under the disability benefit and welfare, which also pays $2 copay per prescription medication. We also have Trillium benefit which covers those between 25 to 64 years old but in an income tested fashion (i.e. their annual deductibles will vary based on their income, if their annual deductible is $1000 due to having higher income, then all medication cost above $1000 will be covered). Hence those without private insurance coverage can be pretty much covered in Ontario already. It would be impossible to have public plans to double its coverage of drug molecules on the market (the cost would be astronomical). Those that argue governments are able to lower drug cost when it nationalize coverage needs to know generic drugs are the only cost government can force to lower, not brand names drugs (which is the bulk of where all drug costs exist "https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/lsg-pdsv.nsf/eng/h_hn01703.html"). Finally, having worked in community pharmacies for 7 years, when people don't have to pay for medications, there tends to be abuse of the system. Unlike medical services from your doctor, drugs can be resold, so if the government starts making every medication free to all, there will be people abusing it and reselling it in other countries. Hence the objectives of a national pharmacare program should be sustainability.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 13 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (3)
    • Chuck 27 days ago
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      "if the government starts making every medication free to all, there will be people abusing it and reselling it in other countries". This is just a conspiracy theory spread by the alt-right.
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      True, there is a great potential for abuse of this "free drugs" system. But most importantly, drugs are toxic and should not be freely prescribed to anybody without exhausting all other complementary, natural to our body means of return to health. You as a pharmacist who studied phytotherapy in the course of your program should know this best.
  • Pcare2018 about 1 month ago
    The objective is to allow a person in need of a quality evidence-based medicine - prescription or not - in the right quantity, at the right time and for the right duration. The statistics show continually that we only take 50% of our medicines properly. That is costing us billions. Perhaps with the right system we consumers wouldn't want to buy the giant thousand tablet package to get the best price. With the idea that we got a deal. There should be no deals. There should be consistent access to a consistent supply that we consume consistently. Secondly we need to manage out the private insurance companies that are making a fortune in the current system.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 4 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      "We need to manage out the private insurance companies that are making a fortune in the current system". You have hid the nail on the head. Private companies want to maximize profits, period.
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      Pcare2018, just think from another perspective: Did you see any chronic, autoimmune disease ever cured with drugs? Certainly not! So why to get "free" access to something that is truly toxic to human body and so ineffective?Why to subject public purse, all of us to bear the cost? Is it serving us or....Big Pharma profit line?Just think, and you'll see the solution is not to poison more people, the solution is not to allow Big Pharma to reap profits from our pockets! The solution is elsewhere. Educate yourself, seek the truth answering these questions first.
  • VictoriaZ 12 days ago
    I have worked hard with my Physician to make lifestyle choices to reduce my requirement for medication. I currently require only two prescribed medications; an Epipen for a food allergy and blood thinner. I have a blood disorder that requires a daily anti coagulant, the medication that is covered by my extended benefits does not meet my needs, we have applied for a special authority but it was declined. This means I have to pay the full bill of this alternate medicine. The alternatives require frequent testing - isn't this a burden or cost to our healthcare system? I am currently relying on a two year old Epipen due to a shortage. So Yes, I am in favour of a National Pharmacare Program.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 2 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      So Victoria, how long you've been taking these drugs? Long time right? Did they cure you? NO!Wouldn't be better to go to a health practitioner who will show you how to get optimum health without drugs? Wouldn't you be served better that way? And even if this practitioner"s services be covered by universal healthcare plan?Remember, there are no incurable diseases, only the doctors who do not know how to cure them. And they don't know how to cure them because they never got a chance to study how to do it! Their professors and their books are paid by Big Pharma! They'll never get a chance to learn the right things because they are trained to sell drugs! Sad but so true. And this we, the public have to change.
  • Alpha1retired 11 days ago
    Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. That being said, there is not enough emphasis on disease prevention. People need a trusted source for health and nutrition information. The Martin Clinic in Sudbury Ontario is one example. This father and son team of health practitioners focus on disease prevention. I trust their information and advice.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      All prescription drugs are toxic! They don't cure anybody from any chronic, degenerative autoimmune disease! Why to reduce their cost? Why to pay for something so toxic that the doctor has to think what dosage to prescribe to NOT to KILL the patient?Herbs and nutrients are not toxic, nobody ever died from taking too much of any vitamin! But 100 000 people die every year in the USA from dully taken prescription drugs.
  • ronneebee 27 days ago
    Why is it this government is so adamant about getting everyone drugged up....is it if we are stoned we will continue to vote liberal? Most drugs have side effects that require a second drug to counter the effects of the original drug. Nature provides a lot of cures without the side effects, how about coverage for those who chose to use natural remedies, instead of a man made imitation. Our entire medical system is backwards. Instead of prevention we react to disease / illness if we worked harder at prevention therre would not be long waits at the hospital, less beds being taken.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 7 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • Alpha1retired 11 days ago
      I agree. Have a national disease prevention initiative involving all provinces and territories before thinking about free drugs for all. Backwards folks. I know there are people who have diseases that require drug treatment and my inference to a prevention program will not help their present situation. Notwithstanding we have to start somewhere and some time and that should only be with prevention and inclusion of alternative health care providers. We need a wholistic approach on a national level. Let’s get healthy and that starts with the food supply. Some time I think that the food industry is out to poison us and their buddies in big pharma come along and provide drugs to deal with the symptoms. It all all starts in the gut folks so let’s get on that band wagon.
      • hollymackerel 9 days ago
        I hear you Alpha and wholeheartedly agree! Let's start with cleaning up our food supply from GMO loaded with glyphosate, pesticides, herbicides, endocrine disruptors and such.No more toxic drugs! Return herbal medicine to the courses of medical studies at all Canadian universities! Bring universal coverage for real doctors who care for people, not profits: Holistic Nutritionists! Just like in Germany, we should have a choice to get well with help from complementary medicine professional without undue financial burden.
  • ronneebee 9 days ago
    I dont feel there should be a National Pharmacare program. Too many drugs killing people or destroying their lives. Make it free will just add to the toll
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    • hollymackerel 9 days ago
      Ronneebee, you are absolutely correct. Pharmacare is about caring for profits of Pharma, nothing to do with caring for Canadians. I don't know if you agree, but in my opinion this is just another scam invented by Big Pharma to get into public deep pockets and empty them as they do in any country that impose their synthetic drugs on.
  • Old Guy 9 days ago
    The objective should be to implement the same five principles of the Canada Health Act.
  • Sickboy 10 days ago
    We should be paying for people that make an effort to be healthy. If you choose to smoke, drink and over eat then why should anyone else be expected to pay for your drugs or healthcare in anyway, including drugs for self induced sickness. We should all see a bill every year that shows what our health coverage costs. I think if people see what a doctor gets paid for a 5 minute visit they would be less likely to waste people’s time and may actually demand better care. Objectives should include a basic list of common drugs, evidence based, to treat most common desease. Other meds ramp up as co pay items if you have specific meds not covered, everyone should have to pay something and can be related to income or better related to frequency of use of the system. Frequent flyers pay more. All incentives should be stopped immediately such as airmiles and optimum points!!!
  • Can't afford my meds 14 days ago
    It should allow for LCA medications to be made available to all, when generics are available. When medications ate not on the "approved" list, a fair system should be in place to ensure patients can receive the necessary drugs.
  • waterlooregion 17 days ago
    Coverage should be fair and equitable - anything less is not appropriate
  • Darcy09 25 days ago
    Pharmacare should be for the uninsured.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 0 Disagree 7 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      All Canadians should be able to access equal coverage across Canada.
      • urban ranger 19 days ago
        sj.iphone - try to tone down your remarks, please. Because you disagree with some postings, it isn't necessary to label the poster as 'wrong'. Other people have different opinions - doesn't mean they are wrong (or that you are right). Thank you.
  • NICO29 27 days ago
    We are the locked in drug society based on affordability and necessity, entrust and administered by Government providing universal socially responsible Healthcare. Prescription waste/recycling alone gives way to the dire need for private enterprise to policing waste policy, a Bill to Legislation for "Stop the waste and contamination" is due now, for the betterment and sustainable future of prescription drugs, Establish the businesses that will be needed by our aging population along side of Natural and Holistic medicine and awareness for a prescription recycling/minimization program! Decision makers urgently have to review the patient's needs and implement stewardship of new policy to stop the waste, to the affordable sustainability, of dispensing and co-pay fees and calibrate it fairly for all Canadians in order to sustain the future demand and costs of prescription. Expand Trillium, and other charitable foundations boost their capabilities to help differ the huge costs to the patient's basic healthcare needs. There is no fair plan in place to prevent prescription abuse on all levels, as our Canadian population is quickly aging with the majority being over 65 in the very near future ( baby boomers) are and will be the drug consumers that will deplete the supply pushing already marked up big Pharma prescriptions beyond affordability, that allow them to ultimately judge, who lives and who dies based on affordability only to lead a reasonable life, pain free and or stem cell therapy and vaccinated for general ailments that will eventually plague us all as we age. The big questions are, why is there so much waste in prescription drug treatment ultimately driving up the cost, why are antibiotics so readily abused and virtually useless in most cases, Super-bugs have evolved, we have not, and near 50% of all drugs prescribed are either flushed down the toilet contaminating our aquatic food chain and water supply, or tossed in the garbage, rarely destroyed or more than we know, do end up on the street for cheap resale, further abusing the cost of funded drugs and pushing Pharma generated profits into the billions! When Doctors change dosage or drugs for patients with total disregard for drug waste. I see it everyday, these expensive drugs that are astronomically priced by big Pharma, when making available generics is at a fraction of the cost, Governments should create internalized competitive quality control Canadian made drug production to reduce the cost of overall common prescriptions usage and demand in the Canadian marketplace? Why the Government does not procure the production and delivery of all drugs in shared bulk purchases like a wholesale business, that would equally be tendered, RFP to big and small pharma that can meet or exceed requirements by contract and provide stewardship to Reduce drug waste is the reward and benefits the final cost of the program,! Governments only job to is monitor and adjusted like a annual budget based on monitored consumption and demand. Classify the co pay based on income and closely monitor the waste by self-governing and audit reporting by the manufacturer! A clear Example, like an expensive cancer drug treatment prescribed and then is only half utilized and then tossed out because that is just the way it is? Pharma's Mandatory Dosage packages are not fair to the consumer/ patient and may not be fully utilized properly and are virtually thrown out , in too many cases 10's of thousands of dollar per patient prescriptions waste virtually dictated by Manufacturer again Big Pharma, is not unusual! Drugs are not to be recycled, WHY ? You wonder why the capital budget is so huge, if up to 50% is prescription is going to the waste-stream! The prescription healthcare system is seriously faltering and needs a reset, rebuilt by big business know how! "Who is Minding the store anyway" All red taped by thousands in the public sector that are suppose to be accountable for supply as well as prescription waste that is occurring every second across Canada! Time for change, rebuild and accountability is dire to an affordable prescription Healthcare system for all Canadians equally, instead of more taxation, waste reduction stewardship!
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 4 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      "The prescription healthcare system is seriously faltering and needs a reset, rebuilt by big business know how!" The only "know how" big business has is how to maximize profits.
  • Lorraine Y about 2 months ago
    I think the gov and Provinces would have better bargaining power with drug companies if we had a national plan. Also noone seems to be interested in prevention education first. How about education on life style changes to avoid drug use all together. It should be part of the national strategy with some kind of on line resource for education for those who want the goal of getting off their prescribed drugs supervised by a doctor of course. Too many doctors are drug rewarded by drug companies versus education rewarded.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • Kens 26 days ago
      I agree Lorraine. Drug companies are in the business to make money, not healthy users. Recent information ( http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2016-2017/the-high-cost-of-phamaceuticals-canadas-drug-problem ) show unbelievable cost discrepancies between drugs made by a Canadian pharmaceutical company and the prices paid in New Zealand...An analysis by the fifth estate shows that Canadians, for example, pay far more than people in New Zealand for drugs produced by the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company.For every dollar Canadians spend on seven popular drugs sold by Apotex in both countries, Kiwis spend just 11.5 cents.And overall, according to several studies, Canadians pay the second-highest drug prices in the world, after only people living in the United States....no question in my mind that we need a more efficient (national) drug procurement policy with some independent (if that is even possible) proof of efficacy. The link provide earlier in this stream (see http://bit.ly/2A2s4ye) is one I found VERY frustrating to read.
      • sj.iphone 19 days ago
        "Drug companies are in the business to make money." They get bigger profits from a patchwork of coverage than from a single-payer system.
  • Tikkadog about 2 months ago
    The same as the Canada Health Act - medically neccessary (essential) medication coverage that is publicly administered, accessible, comprehensive, universal and portable.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 4 Disagree 5 Alert moderator Hide replies (6)
    • urban ranger 27 days ago
      The problem is in defining "medically necessary" and "essential". Who decides what is actually needed?
      • Tikkadog 27 days ago
        There are international models we can examine. For example, Sweden has the "Wise List", and has a system for assessing medications within the context of the entire social/medical system. As a nation we must make ourselves familiar with how other successful universal systems are managed, and take the best we find to make our system as good as it can be for our society.
        • urban ranger 26 days ago
          Perhaps we should be looking first at the fact that Canada is the only developed country with medicare that does not allow a private pay option as well. The only one.....why do you think that is?
          • Tikkadog 26 days ago
            Yes, I think that we have to look at everything. We have spent too long thinking the Canadian system is "the best", just because it is not American. The Canada Health Act has frozen us in a 1950s model that does not recognize the realities of this century - health care is more than just hospitals and doctors. We must look at and emulate the systems that produce the best outcomes, often while spending less per capita than we do
          • sj.iphone 19 days ago
            Look at how that multi-tiered coverage turned out for Australia. They want to go back to the single-payer system.
  • lilli.depoil 26 days ago
    With taxes being very high compared to the US, I fear we are going to lose many more good people to brain drain as the government continues to spend without regard to cost. It’s impoetant to say no to things we can’t afford and given the state of federal finances, it is clear this is something we can’t afford.
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  • bclawyer 3 months ago
    I am in favour of universal free pharmacare coverage for all. There are many working families who struggle to pay for medications not just seniors. To have free medical care but to be unable to pay for the medications to treat the results of that medical care is a national shame. This abnormality in our system needs to be addressed. Universal medical coverage has to include drugs. To argue otherwise is a fallacy. Dental care and vision care should also be included at some stage.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 21 Disagree 9 Alert moderator Hide replies (6)
  • thornburyone about 1 month ago
    1. Make medication available to all citizens.2. Purchase drugs by a central authority to ensure the best price.3. Finance costs from tax revenues.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 3 Disagree 6 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • gophers 24 days ago
      Glad to see you want our taxes to go even higher, so we can ship even more jobs and investment overseas.
      • sj.iphone 19 days ago
        We pay taxes to ensure that all Canadians benefit, not just the rich and powerful. We do "ship" jobs overseas. Corporations are taking the jobs overseas so they can increase profits.
  • Canadiangirl 26 days ago
    As prescription drugs are now responsible for the largest number of addictions, I do not trust Dr's, who have been irresponsible in prescribing and patients taking advantage, as we've clearly seen the results of these addictions! I, personally do NOT want to support any more programs which assist in keeping people addicted, on the tax payers dime! I understand that there a some people who require assistance, I would prefer we continue, update if necessary, the system to support those in need that we currently use! NO to a federal drug program! We're so far in debt now with the trudeau disasters, we must tighten our belts, not add more cost, requiring more tax!
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    • gophers 24 days ago
      That's a really good point Canadiangirl. How would the Feds sue themselves when the next opiod crisis rolls around when they would have such an active hand in pushing the drugs.
    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      You have no understanding of economics or addiction. The federal government has greater spending power than the provinces and can get better prices for the medications. All Canadians should be able to access equal coverage across Canada. We can afford it.
  • gophers 27 days ago
    I feel like the goal should be to have no program. The vast majority of healthcare spending - regardless of type - happens toward the end of your life, like retirement. Instead of making young people pay for old people who didn't save when they were young, we should force people to save for themselves. I find it morally reprehensible that I should be responsible for other people's irresponsibility.
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    • Think Big 27 days ago
    • fieryfee 23 days ago
      I didn't ask to get MS and be taken out of the workforce at 42, after spending my life getting a doctorate. I feel such hate in your words. My medication, if insurance allows, will cost 32k per year. I need this. It might return me to the workforce. What sort of people put a price on a human being? The goal should be the entire opposite of what you have stated here and the fact people agreed with you makes me realize how little Canadians understand pharmacare.
  • JimBob 21 days ago
    Healthcare is a provincial matter and thus pharmacare should be left to the individual provinces. The federal government should balance the budget before going on any more spending sprees. I am deeply concerned for the next generation.
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    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      All Canadians should be able to access equal coverage across Canada. The federal government has greater spending power than the provinces and can get better prices for the medications.
  • rhkary57 19 days ago
    As stated most Canadians have some for of health / drug coverage. A national healthcare program would only benefit the big insurance companies that would love to defer the costs of medications to a government program. Great way to help big business at the expense of tax payers
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    • sj.iphone 19 days ago
      Wrong. You have it backwards. A national pharmacare program would save money for the taxpayers. Private insurance companies profit from providing health/drug coverage. Why else would they do it? They are in the business to make money period.
  • resaw 22 days ago
    1. To make sure that all those who are in need of prescription drugs to maintain or recover health can have access to those drugs irrespective of ability to pay.2. To enable an adequate supply of all needed prescription drugs at a reasonable cost through the establishment of a single nationwide purchasing agent (most likely a federal government agency).
  • mjsingh about 1 month ago
    All Canadians across all provinces and territories should have equal and uniform access to prescription drugs of evidence based proven value, determined at the national level.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • gophers 24 days ago
      Healthcare is the responsibility of the provinces constitutionally. There should be no national program. It would be a slap in the face to the founders of this country.
  • ?Rosco? 26 days ago
    The program needs to cover all people not targeted groups.
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  • Banana 25 days ago
    A system for all Canadians, but NOT a drawn out, expensive system where the biggest benefit is for the people working on the project, drug companies and doctors.
  • Black Dog 26 days ago
    Leave the government out of it. Government programs always cost more, are lower quality and very quickly become bloated and very bureaucratic.
  • Spinnaker175 26 days ago
    I think he pharmacare program should be designed to fill the gaps in drug coverage, and ensure that those who need it most are covered for all normal drug needs. Prescription costs should go to employment benefit coverage first, before pharmacare. Pharmacare should cover any normally covered drugs, if not covered by a benefit plan. Basically create a level playing field for all Canadians as far as prescription drug coverage, either by people paying themselves where they can, get covered by a benefit plan, or through pharmacare.
  • Phinehas 26 days ago
    I disagree with governments providing national healthcare or pharmacare, dental, mental, and every other "care plan" people & govts can think of, &/or think they need "for free." It is anything but free. Canadians are now so heavily taxed, we should already have all these needs provided for easily. With top-heavy govts, such as ours, with their huge salaries & benefits, their careless, wasteful, indulgent spending, all we get from them in return is new ways for them to add to our taxes. This pharmacare plan is just a ploy of Trudeau's to start his upcoming reelection campaign. I'm not falling for it, and I do NOT support it. If we weren't taxed so heavily, we could far more easily provide for ourselves without govt interventions, i.e., false proposals that actually mean more taxes! We won't get any of the benefits they claim, even if taxes are collected for said benefits--they'll take the money and run like they always do!
  • steinley69 26 days ago
    Pharmacare Program would need to be able to source sufficient drugs at lower costs from suppliers due to volumes to be beneficial. Epi-pen shortage recently indicates that problems with sourcing much needed drugs and availability. But biggest concern is our health system. Medical and dental programs differ from province to province as well as prescription drug coverage yet the Fed's think that they can implement a pharmacare system that would be fair for all when our current health system is not. Until Canadians have access to equal medical, dental coverage across this country, I do not see how gov can implement prescription drug coverage without also looking at the total health systems and attempting to equalize this across provinces. For example, all medical treatments, dental costs should be within a similar financial range and Canadians should be able to used their provincial health care in other provinces without incurring additional costs.
  • let's talk health 26 days ago
    Should be a yearly maximum on costs after which all meds on list fully covered
  • Think Big 27 days ago
    The National program should only cover those in catastrophic situations. It should not be used to supplement the income of middle-class and high income Canadians. Any payments should be done as a rebate on income tax and only for low income Canadians.
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  • armynorb 26 days ago
    The objectives should be to BUTT OUT!!! This is the jurisdiction of the provinces and the feds have NO business getting into this! They will tax the bejeezuz out of all of us, they will foul it up beynd all recognition and the drugs, which we will be paying the governmrnt for, will be given to the illegal border crossers, just like everyting else they get for free, on our dole! Do NOT trust the federal government!
  • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
    In addition to being universal & portable, a national drug plan should cover vital medical supplies as well as medications. What good does fully covering something like insulin do, if the person can't afford test strips to monitor their blood sugar, or injection pens and needles to inject it? Or what about tape & bandaging material for people sent home with wounds that need regular re bandaging? I'm sure there are many other examples of vital supplies which should also be covered.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 11 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • Del about 2 months ago
      Electric Pony, really valid comment. Another example could be when one is required to travel to access medical treatment not available in home community. Canada is more than urban cities; it includes vast rural areas, northern communities, isolated First Nations, Metis Nation & Inuit communities. Costs associated with : accommodations, meals, transportation expenses incurred to access needed health care.
    • victoriapharmacist about 1 month ago
      Pharmacare does cover test strips and needles.It doesn't cover commonly prescribed over the counter medications like laxatives, tylenol arthritis, stool softeners, antihistamines etc.These represent a large burden for patients despite all their other medications being covered.
  • Ponderosaman 27 days ago
    Objective should be to make all prescription drugs available to everyone in Canada. Available does not mean free. No cost difference depending on individual income. Free to one is free to all. Otherwise those who worked hard and saved their money would end up paying for their prescription drug needs with theie own cash, and then for others with increased taxes. Those of us that worked hard, controlled our spending and saved some of our money are tired of paying for everyone else!
  • Betula 27 days ago
    Provide affordable pharma that allows everybody the opportunity to access medicines their doctors prescribe to treat illness without catastrophic economic impact on their person or family.
  • Skittykitty about 1 month ago
    You say above that "most Canadians have some form of prescription drug coverage".....who are they? I'm a senior, and like myself and my husband, many of my friends do not have any kind of prescription drug coverage at all. If one is lucky enough to have retired from a job that provided life-long extended medical care, they are very fortunate. But it's not the case for at least half of the folks I know. I hope that if and when we get a National Pharmacare Program it covers the working poor, and retired seniors who have low incomes and no coverage elsewhere. Such a program should cover all prescription drugs which are necessary for health and well-being, including those that are expensive, ie the Shingles Vaccine.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • phamde 29 days ago
      Consult the data supporting why the previous form of Shingles Vaccine was not covered. Then consult what is currently covered or proposed for coverage by some provincial vaccination programs.
    • urban ranger 27 days ago
      Surely it is a question of priorities. If you wish for example, to get the Shingles vaccine, justsave up for it and make it a priority. If it is worth it to you, you should do this. I did.There is no right to have everything we want or need in this world to be provided by government or anyone else.
  • Linus 27 days ago
    Removed by moderator.
  • Malachi 27 days ago
    The objectives should be to cover everyone for every form of prescription drug deemed necessary by a medical doctor and not a politician or a civil servant! Further, the program should be considered ONLY AFTER the government balances, and commits to continue the balance of, the annual budget! Deficits and current National Debt are far too high to even be thinking about such a program at this point!
  • Anthony041 about 1 month ago
    To cover all Canadians with an inclusive basic formulary. Drug prices should be negotiated by the Federal agency, dealing with both branded Pharma, and the generic industry. There should be evidence-based guidelines (e.g. along the lines of N.I.C.E. in the UK), and I like the Australian/New Zealand models. Some provisions need to be in place to handle non-formulary drugs.
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  • kelowna about 1 month ago
    pharmacists should dispense smaller quantities at a time especially for new prescriptions for patients to see how they tolerate medications. giving 3 months of something new to a patient who may then not tolerate and waste is not good economy
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 5 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • phamde 29 days ago
      Yes. This is already in place for several programs (private and public). Some drugs also need to be regularly adjusted after initiation of the therapy. So not automatic candidate for extended delivery (eg.: 3 months)
  • bneilbel about 1 month ago
    If someone has a private drug plan it should be used first but then costs not picked up, by a private plan can be covered
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    • phamde 29 days ago
      But not all drugs and any cost. When 2 drugs with similar effect are available, the more expensive one should not be necessarily covered if the price is not compensated by a significant better efficacy.
  • shemck 30 days ago
    We need a national pharmacare that allows all Canadians ease and accessability to prescription drugs similiar to the system used by New Zealand. Drugs are purchase at a lower rate by government and fees for patients are capped.
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    • phamde 29 days ago
      New Zealand should not be taken as an example as more than one Canadian provinces already benefit form programs that are better than the one offer there.
  • RozR43 about 1 month ago
    Residents of rural and northern Ontario should be compensated for the expenses of obtaining prescriptions and medications readily available to those living in populated areas.
  • VeggieBibliophile about 1 month ago
    Anyone with a medical condition that requires them to take a prescription drug should be able to do so. Lack of money should not be an impediment to this.
  • Dabble58 about 1 month ago
    A formulary should be covered (new medications should apply to be added) and this should be used to ensure supply and decent prices for medications. Drug companies should be required to provide certain life-saving medications (epi-pens, etc) or they will not be allowed to be part of the formulary providers. The key aim is that medications that aid people should be made available.
  • stoongal about 1 month ago
    All drugs should be covered and partnerships developed with pharma companies that prices need to be realistic.
  • canadiannapoleon about 1 month ago
    UniversalPublicAccessibleA national drug plan should cover everyone equally. Right now there are 113,000 private plans and 70 public plansthat cover people differently, depending where they work and where they live. Instead, federal funding andoversight should enable provinces and territories to provide equal coverage to everyone across the country, muchlike doctors and hospitals.Public health care provides better health care at lower cost than for-profit private health systems. Our currentpatchwork of private and public plans is failing us. A national drug plan should be publicly funded bygovernment, following the same principle as the provision of doctors and hospitals under the Canada Health Act.A drug plan must be accessible to everyone. This means the elimination of co-pays for prescription drugs, becausethose who can’t afford the co-pays don’t get the drugs they need. One in ten people living in Canada are unable totake the drugs prescribed for them, because they can’t afford either the entire cost or the co-pays required bypublic and work-based plans. People living in Canada pay over one-quarter of the total cost of drugs out of theirown pockets. We don’t pay to see a doctor or go to a hospital, and drugs are just as essential.AffordableIndependent, Safe & EffectiveA national plan covering everyone would be less expensive than our patchwork of many different private andpublic plans. A Canada-wide plan would allow effective bargaining for lower prices with pharmaceuticalcompanies, backed by the power of access to the whole population. This system is used effectively in manycountries to obtain much lower prices for drugs than we pay in Canada. Plus, we’d no longer be payinginsurance companies the cost to administer thousands of different plans or their profits to do so.The list of drugs to be covered (the formulary) must be decided independently from the financial interests ofpharmaceutical companies. Now, these companies influence both the approval of new drugs and the prescribingpractices of doctors. They also produce and promote drugs that offer no improvement over drugs already in use,but are more expensive. This influence leads to ineffective drugs, the waste of money, over-prescribing andharmful side effects. The evaluation and approval of drugs and the guidelines for prescribing them must beindependent of pharmaceutical companies to ensure that drugs are safe, effective and prescribed appropriately
  • leftfielder718 about 1 month ago
    Universal (covers all Canadians), public (paid for by government following the same principles as coverage for doctors and hospitals under the Canada Health Act), accessible to all (no deductibles or co-pays which could be a financial barrier to accessibility for some), affordable (single payer to negotiate reduced prices with drug companies), Independent, safe and effective (evaluation and approval of drugs and the guidelines for prescribing them must be independent and based on scientific assessment that the drugs are safe and effective and that doctors are prescribing appropriately).
  • Dovid about 1 month ago
    Universal coverage and obtaining the benefits of mass purchase.
  • leslea_kate about 2 months ago
    To cover FULLY, ALL Canadians. Regardless of what groups they may be part of and regardless of what medications are needed.Stop trying to find excuses to limit universal pharmacare.
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    • victoriapharmacist about 1 month ago
      Many medications are not medically necessary or provide a modest improvement compared to cheaper alternatives at 10x the cost.So yes, limiting the formulary is necessary. If drug companies KNOW that their medication will be covered regardless of the price then why wouldn't they price all of their medications extremely high.
  • qpwoeiruty12345 about 2 months ago
    How much tax is everyone willing to pay in addition to fund for pharmacare? Also, physicians in Ontario charge 20-30 dollars for a sick note while also billing OHIP...I know its off topic but can we talk about this too?
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • Reality101 about 2 months ago
      I'm annoyed at the annual fee programs for non-insured services that most doctors offer. My doctor charges $250/year for a family and $150/year for an individual. If 500 families sign up for this yearly quasi-private insurance plan, that's an additional $125,000/year in a doctor's pocket. And, if you don't sign up for a doctor's private program, you might be on the hook for referral notes to physiotherapists, chiropractors, etc., sick notes, fitness club forms, daycare and camp forms, and prescription renewals by fax. It irritates me that my doctor charges $50 to fill out Revenue Canada's Disability Tax Credit certificate if you don't have her plan. There's a $25 charge for 10 minute phone consult and on and on it goes. Canadians are nickle and dimed all the time for health care, and that includes those wretched dispensing fees that pharmacies charge. As if they don't make enough.
      • qpwoeiruty12345 about 2 months ago
        Believe it or not, pharmacies very few sources of income are those dispensing fees and annual meds checks in Ontario. The mark up for most commonly prescribed drugs at pharmacies are only a couple cents. So no, pharmacies don't make enough without those dispensing fees.
  • canadiannapoleon about 2 months ago
    To clamp down on the excessive power and greed of pharmaceutical once and for all by ensuring everyone has their prescriptions covered, regardless of their ability to pay.
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  • canadiannapoleon about 2 months ago
    No prescription drugs should be exempt from public coverage
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    • victoriapharmacist about 1 month ago
      Many prescription medications are "fads" and lack great efficacy.They are prescribed because a drug rep went into your doctors office and gave out free samples.Evidence based formulary is the best way to ensure the system is paying for medications that balance cost vs benefit.
  • asdf about 2 months ago
    It must be-evidenced based-cover all people-be publicly administered (no insurance companies dipping in)
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    • victoriapharmacist about 1 month ago
      Public administration is not necessary. Private companies are better at administering a universal program (see Alberta Blue Cross, the government didn't want the head ache of running the program so they got a private company to administer the benefits more efficiently, and less expensively).
  • slikster about 2 months ago
    Canada needs a pharmacare program. We are the only country in the world that has universal health care but not pharmacare. We have to make prescriptions affordable to all Canadians regardless of income, residence, status, province, etc.
  • goldenyear? about 2 months ago
    Are you planning on changing the health act . if so here are my suggestion.1 A complete list of all mandatory medications and health services each province must supply to its resident. This way anyone moving provinces isn't forced to pay for medication , their province covered and the provinces can't divert Health dollars to other agencies(Quebec).2 A detailed report to each citizen yearly that outlines the health services and all costs incurred.3.A universal national requirements and regulations for the running of all Health service program ( mental health, epidemics, vaccinations etc.)4 A universal scale of means testing for all Canadians.
  • docbell about 2 months ago
    Goal 1: Universal coverage. Goal 2: Reduce costs of medication by buying in bulk and so having greater purchasing power to negotiate with big pharma.
  • Human Rights Advocate about 2 months ago
    As a person who advocates building societies based upon the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I believe that the objective of a national pharmacare program for Canada should be to cover all Canadians, regardless of their ability to pay.
  • Christine0912 about 2 months ago
    Cover all medications that have a proven track record of preventing and treating illness and injury and enhancing quality of life.
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  • BPB about 2 months ago
    The goal should be to provide coverage to all Canadian residents for a set of approved drugs prescribed for common conditions. Government will be able to use its purchasing power to negotiate favorable costs for these drugs, which will be used to treat a broad range of relatively common conditions. But some doctors prescribe drugs that are not likely to be on the list. I think government should fund only the cost of an approved alternative, often a generic drug (but would need to be constantly updating its list of approved drugs based on efficacy and cost). Another problem concerns very expensive drugs required to effectively treat rare conditions. The cost of such drugs may be beyond the means of many patients. There must be a way of covering them without imposing financial ruin on them while not overwhelming the pharmacare system with costs. There may be a role here for private insurance and/or means-based cost recovery.
  • Canadiancitizen2018 about 2 months ago
    The goal should be to ensure that we can produce and supply every drug that exists within our public system, at cost. It's a national security issue, as much as it is a health care issue.
  • peaceologist about 2 months ago
    Canadian health care was meant to provide for all Canadians but some right wing parties in some provinces started running their own system, charging for medication some years ago and that was just wrong-headed. This taxes too many, too much, especially women who work for subsistence incomes and no benefits. So, Pharmacare should provide for all who need it, straight up and no kickback to any government.
  • kuzniarz about 2 months ago
    It is important that all Canadians have access to the medications they need no matter their ability to pay.
  • fleblanc1983 2 months ago
    A national pharmacare programme should not over-shadow efforts to provide greater access to evidence-based, effective and safe non-pharmacological clinical alternatives. For several chronic conditions, self-management strategies and non-pharmacological options are actually recommended first. Hence, to do so effectively, a national pharmacare programme should be comprehensive - consider what are best practices and provide greater access only if meant to improve outcomes. That can only be done if outcomes are evaluated. Here is an example about the management of non-cancer pain - one of the primary driver of healthcare costs and utilization, as well as the opioid crisis. Pain is one of the most prevalent and costliest chronic condition in Canada. Available evidence points to non-cancer pain (i.e. musculoskeletal conditions) as one of the main reason for physician and emergency visits and use of prescribed opioids. Yet, options available to manage MSK pain in primary care settings are limited across Canada. Clinical practice guidelines largely recommend conservative care approaches for the management of MSK conditions as first-line. Complementary to a pharmacare programme, Canada has a unique opportunity to improve outcomes by strategically investing in the appropriate management of non-cancer pain. Over 6 million Canadian suffer silently from chronic and recurrent pain, with little to no access to appropriate, non-invasive, evidence-based care. Low back pain and neck pain are among the leading causes of years lived with disability worldwide with over 1 billion sufferers worldwide. The burden has risen a staggering 54% between 1990 and 2015. MSK conditions also rival cardiovascular diseases in terms of direct and indirect healthcare costs, and leading reason of absenteeism and lost time. Pain has often been called the silent epidemic – too often over-looked and ignored. Other international jurisdictions have used current resources and strategically invested in models that would ensure greater access to care early. These models often included medical doctors, nurses, social workers, chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists and others who are uniquely qualified to manage symptoms, promote return to work and reduce the risk of chronicity or long-term disability. Compounded by a quickly aging population, the burden of chronic pain is only expected to exponentially rise. Yet, even with increase of resources, our current system is not meeting desired outcomes including increasing wait times. A more strategic approach to current investments including addressing the population’s needs in an evidence-based manner. Below is an informative publication titled Researching what matters to improve chronic pain care in Canada: A priority-setting partnership process to support patient-oriented research for your consideration: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24740527.2018.1433959
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    • mikomoka 2 months ago
      I fully support fleblanc1983’s position on prescription pain medications. Indeed, it is very likely that the over-prescription of opiods are largely responsible for the public crisis Canada is experiencing now.However, since the majority of illnesses that Canadians experience can be attributed to underlying social determinants, I would also emphasize the point that the return on healthcare investments would be much greater by addressing these root causes of ill health rather than any incentive (perceived or otherwise) to the pharmaceutical industry. An efficient and effective national pharmacare program must be based on solid, sound, validated research evidence. The problem is that much of the published evidence is a sham being mostly manicured data generated by the drug industry (http://bit.ly/2A2s4ye). Bad evidence will support bad policy which, in turn, will inform bad practice. Before any national pharmacare plan is rolled out (and it is essential that it is), there must be a thorough evaluation of the quality of the evidence for drug efficacy and a sound rationale for cost that is not undertaken by the pharmaceutical industry but, rather, objective research by Canada’s academic research community fully arm’s length from industry and government funded.
      • Christine0912 2 months ago
        mikomoka- In Canada prescribing of opioids for pain did not cause the poisonings by Fentanyl. Please do your research. If you do not want to use opioids in the event that you suffer from moderate to severe pain that is your choice but DO NOT dictate that others should not have their severe pain relieved. CBT for persistent moderate to severe chronic pain is a joke along with acupuncture. Massage therapy is only a temporary relief and the effects are gone shortly after. Physio therapy, rest and diet are 3 things that should be considered long before pain becomes chronic. Once a person has been taught the exercises that they need to do then most can be done at home. The problem with this is that for one reason of another many people are non compliant. A buddy system for both exercise and diet may help patients better adhere to treatment. People are sent back to work far too fast or cannot take time off due to finances. Paid sick days would be helpful. I have seen how some of Canada's academic research has been done and far too much money is wasted. Ontario Drug Research Policy Network in my opinion is an organization that wastes tax pay money. We have known for a long time now that the majority of deaths re-opioids have been due to illicit Fentanyl coming in from China however some of the people at ODRPN continue to flood the journals with low quality studies that are data mined. They have been analyzing opioid deaths in the USA lumping all of them together without reason. It is as though they think that by flooding the journals with these new studies, they will camouflage their bias. Researchers should have to be non biased and have practiced in the field that they are doing studies on.I have seen too many things getting by academics who sit on ethics boards and have lost confidence in them as well. One should not blindly trust these people
        • mikomoka 2 months ago
          Christine0912 - not entirey sure where I made any reference to DICTATING that opioids should not be prescribed (under any circumstances). If that is how my comment is perceived, it remains obscure to me how that can be so. However, I certainly have done my research (as you helpfully pointed out) and, indeed, there is a substantial and growing body of rigorous, validated (á la Cochrane) evidence that over-prescribing is one of the fundamentals behind our current epidemic (eg. see Kolodny, A. et al. 2015, Annual Review of Public Health, 36: 559-574). And you are absolutely correct that there is a frightening amount of bogus evidence out there (see http://bit.ly/2A2s4ye), hence the critical need for Cochrane and similar systematic reviews. Like much so-called information that comes our way from many sources, having an informed, critical eye (as it appears you have) can help sort out the garbage from the flowers.
          • Christine0912 2 months ago
            You are right, I should not have implied that you wanted to dictate how another person chooses to have pain treated however from what I see is that many people who state that the opioid crisis was caused from prescription drugs seem to be against using opioids to treat pain. Now that Andrew Kolodny is mentioned as a person in regards to supporting the statement "prescription drugs caused the opioid crisis" I can't help feeling that my assertion is right. Kolodny may one day be held accountable for the information he has touted. He has a known bias against opioid use to treat pain dating back to before a time when he was acting as a drug rep for Indivior. He was offering hospitals $10,000 a piece for prescribing Buprenorphine and believes that all people who take opioids for pain are only doing so because they are addicted. Kolodny's "research" is the same as some of those @ ODRPN and lumps all deaths together. The CDC made an announcement stating that CDC Guidelines were based on incorrect information and that the majority of deaths were due to illicit Fentanyl. There is absolutely no proof that prescribing of opioids caused the crisis. In the States there were some pill mills but those have been shut down for some time now. The majority of doctors practiced in good faith. There has been a call to fire Kolodny from his current position as respectable doctors and scientists continue to pick through his studies. It seems that because of this man and his followers, people who are suffering from both acute and chronic pain cannot get needed medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5659223/ https://www.acsh.org/news/2018/03/19/cdc-quietly-admits-it-screwed-dishonestly-counting-pills-12717 https://atipusa.org/2018/04/23/principles-for-a-revised-opioid-prescription-guideline/ http://www.unodc.org/documents/drug-prevention-and-treatment/INCB_Access_Supplement-AR15_availability_English.pdf http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/GLs_Ens_Balance_NOCP_Col_EN_sanend.pdf Kolodny and a relative are also on the board of an Insurance company that provides mal practice insurance to doctors. Many of us who advocate for humane treatment of pain believe that there is a conflict of interest. People in the USA are suffering tremendously because Kolodny went largely unopposed for so long. In 2012 he and the rest of PROP filed a petition with the FDA to mandate that patients who suffer from pain be restricted to 100 MED per day and should not receive the meds for more than 3 months. They wanted to restrict opioids to end of life care or acute pain as well. In 2013 the FDA over ruled him and PROP stating there was no evidence that Cancer pain was more severe than pain caused by other illnesses. Then Kolodny got lucky as one of his buddies, became director of CDC and and they implemented the measures that the FDA shot down. Prepare yourself if things do not change as some people going in for surgery are not having their pain needs met unless hours are first spent jumping through hoops. All because of misinformation. There have been reports coming out of the US that even some people who have had joints replaced are not getting adequate pain relief yet studies also confirm that risk of addiction in people who have received opioids for acute pain is also less than 1%. We are talking about 600,000 charts having been analyzed.
            • mikomoka 2 months ago
              Perhaps at this point, our discussion should fade since this venue is for discussion around a National Pharmacare program. Kolodny is, indeed, a known entity as are the many researchers who have also found that the role of prescription opioids are significantly contributing to the crisis. This is not the right place to cite these papers but your contribution does lend support that a critical Cochrane review of this question may be in order. For the record, I am not opposing the appropriate use of opioids for chronic pain relief. However, when my partner had minor surgery and was give a script for 42 Percocet (!!!) which was entirely unecessary and uneeded, the facts hit close to home. Thanks for your contribution.
              • Christine0912 2 months ago
                It is not I that began a discussion by making a statement that has not been proven. Statements such as "It is likely over prescribing has lead to the opioid crisis" has harmed people as this unproven narrative has been pushed by people like A. Kolodny. This narrative has resulted in harmful policies leading to the suffering and deaths of people who have been cut off their pain medication. Many of these people had been successfully treated with opioids and had been stable for years. Illegal Fentanyl was not imported because doctors prescribed too much pain medication. It was imported because it was easy for criminals to make a quick buck. I believe that posting links to back up assertions in relation to such a statement is appropriate due to the immense suffering related to that statement. I am never apposed to viewing reliable info and would welcome any that you choose to provide. Here in Canada the crisis is in regards to deaths while addiction rate itself has remained fairly stable per capita- While there had been some over prescribing it occurred mainly in the USA but not so much in Canada. While prescribing of opioids in USA decreased, deaths increased.As for Kolodny, he is NOT an expert in the treatment of pain and should have had no business in making recommendations as to how to treat pain. I am happy to hear that you are not apposed to humane treatment of pain and although your partner may have been prescribed 42 percocet tablets after a minor surgery, measures have been taken to better assist doctors in regard to what might be an appropriate amount of medication to ensure that left overs are not diverted.
      • Hilberto 2 months ago
      • Hilberto 2 months ago
    • Christine0912 2 months ago
      The World Health Organization and UN- International Narcotic Control Board has more than 50 years of evidence that the rate of addiction is less than 1% and not more than 4% as is stated in the link that was provided. There have also been 3 other studies reviewing more than half a million charts in regards to both acute and chronic pain and the rate of addiction is once again, less than 1%. Sadly imo the people who were in charge of our current opioid prescribing guidelines allowed their own personal bias to dictate the perimeters that would be used to gather data. Conveniently the harms caused by NSAIDS, injections, surgery, steroids was left out while these are things that would be used in place of opioids to relieve pain. As well the WHO guidelines were not considered. What was considered was article written by anti-opioid zealots who often pooled deaths caused from illicit drugs in with those caused by prescription drugs mean while over 75% of the deaths in Canada were not the cause of prescription opioids. Seeing the figures used in the link above does not give me much confidence as to the accuracy of the article
    • Hilberto 2 months ago
      To long and complex to agree, disagree, reply about individual concerns.
      • Christine0912 about 2 months ago
        when you are the one suffering from a kidney stone or major surgery and trialed with an anti-inflammatory for pain, this all will not seem so complex.
    • Hilberto 2 months ago
      To long and complex to agree, disagree, reply about individual concerns.
  • mrsmg 3 months ago
    The objective is relatively simple it should be the provision of effective drugs at a nominal charge to the patient for the remedy of a defined medical condition for all Canadians. Implementation is another matter. Firstly the provincial medical model inhibits this. MD's earn a fee for a prescription (Rx) so have no incentive to minimising prescribing. They also simply do not know their drugs and or the side effects. The level of pharmacology knowledge is frighteningly low - they rely on Pharmacare's own brand of information with huge detrimental effects. This would have to be addressed to reduce prescribing to help control budgets. Many times I have to deal with patients which have been given either unnecessary drugs or the 'wrong' drug and certainly no attempt at dose reduction. This goes hand in hand with the total failure of the existing system to prevent disease by understanding pathology/etiology/signs and symptoms. The UK has an effective way of determining which drugs are 'effective' and worth the buck. It is called NICE. It is not perfect and there is some bureaucracy but its one hell of a lot better than what we have now. Determination of the effectiveness of drugs also determines cost benefit and budgets. It is no coincidence that 75% of big pharma's profits come from North America as this is last area in the western world which has not attempted to control drug costs. There are also better drug and other alternatives to medical conditions including cancer which both Provinces and the Feds have done their best to prevent but which not only could bring down the cost of healthcare but are better options for the patient. The incestuous relationship of bureaucracy, pharma, lobbyists, medical doctors is harmful to human health and should be broken. I note that this forum would enable lobbyists to post without full disclosure. In this context it should be noted I am female, in the alternative medical field but with conventional medical training and no medical coverage other than OHIP.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide replies (3)
    • keithmnop77 3 months ago
      The UK has the problem that while NICE approves drugs at a national level, local "health care trusts" do not have to follow NICE recommendations. So they have what they call a "postal code lottery" where your coverage depends on where you live.The NICE idea is a good one. But it should be mandatory that each province provide at least what Canada's NICE has approved. Provinces might provide more, but would be banned from providing less.
      • mrsmg 3 months ago
        Yes its not perfect but there is a post code lottery here in Ontario too. Never mind the insidious and undisclosed relationships between medical doctors and pharma which influence the choice of drug. Furthermore there is virtually no obligation to update on drugs as with the passage of time harms become evident and documented.
    • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
      NICE also has issues with going along with the pharmaceutical industry far too often. Two examples, just off the top of my head are natural desiccated thyroid and B12 injections. Natural desiccated thyroid works far better than synthroid for many people with hypothyroidism, but because doctors are taught that synthroid only works for everyone (when it actually only works long term for a minority), it's not only hard to get doctors to prescribe it, but it's not properly covered, either. B12 injections have been proven to work for many patients with B12 deficiency but due to the guidelines from NICE (based at least partially on the shoddy reference range in western countries), many people are left horribly under treated (eg only allowed 1 inject every few months when they need one a week for alleviation of symptoms). Unfortunately, the knowledge and experience of patient groups are completely ignored in favour of the claims of the pharmaceutical industry. Poorly treated hypothyroidism & B12 deficiency result in the appearance of many conditions which are then prescribed more profitable drugs (eg anti-depressants) than if patients can be properly treated with natural desiccated thyroid or B12 injections
  • Dexter 3 months ago
    There is little debate that by ensuring people who need medications are not restricted from following their treatment regime because of costs, ultimately saves healthcare dollars. But looking at Pharmacare in isolation is to tackle one aspect of the healthcare system without due regard to the place it holds in the total spectrum of care: prevention, acute care, chronic care, public education on the use of drugs, etc. All are integrated and all are in serious need of review. Before the government takes action to implement a Pharmacare program a total reform of the system, under federal leadership to ensure equitable access to excellent healthcare across the country, should be initiated. We would move closer to the quality system envisioned fifty years ago than if we continue to allocate resources to piecemeal Humpty Dumpty together.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
      While I partially agree with you, waiting to implement universal drug coverage until after a total reform of the health care system, which could easily take decades, leaves many people struggling to afford medicine & unnecessarily being disabled/dying early for far too long. Universal coverage should have happened when health care was implemented and it should not wait decades more for other issues to be sorted.
  • hutchb 3 months ago
    1. Ensure universal access to all medically necessary prescription drugs without financial barriers (e.g., premiums, co-payments, deductibles)2. Reduce total (public plus private) costs of prescription drugs in Canada
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 11 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Universal access means those with high incomes ALSO get free coverage. This is not right. Perhaps we need a means test. Does our Prime Minister need free drugs? I think not!
      • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
        A) A means test would introduce unnecessary & costly bureaucracy. B) How do you propose such a test would work? Based on last year's income tax? People's income can change vastly from one year to the next, especially when they suddenly have a debilitating illness or injury. Pay stubs? What about people who earn commissions and have great months & terrible months? If their previous month was great, but they have no money this month for their medications, how is that helpful? Plus, pharmacists have no need to know their clients' income bracket. No, it needs to be universal. Make the money back from rich people's taxes.
  • LikeWater 3 months ago
    I think that generic drugs that are truly necessary should be covered for all.That brings up the bigger problem: How do we ensure that doctors only prescribe what's truly necessary and that they only prescribe generics?I have worked as an MOA for a little while, so I know how much access the drug companies get to the doctors' time - buying them lunches, so they can extol the virtue of their latest drug.And how do we avoid patients pressuring doctors into prescribing them drugs?
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • HVM 3 months ago
      Doctors can say no they are not obligated to prescribe what a patient wants.
    • Pharmacist 2 months ago
      The answer to your question is pharmacists.
    • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
      You do understand that generics often work differently than the original drug, sometimes far worse for patients, and/or have different inactive ingredients which may be problematic for some patients. Doctors should be prescribing the best version of a particular drug for a particular patient. Forcing doctors to only prescribe generics would totally defeat the point of a National Pharmacare plan by actively harming some patients.
  • maria.pillitteri 2 months ago
    All Canadians should have access to pharmacare, WHILE recognizing the following:1. Drug companies should price their drugs at a fair value, so that the Canadian tax-payer is not paying excessive amounts of money to the drug companies;2. Doctor's and nutritionists should be promoting exercise and a plant-based lifestyle to avoid the necessity for pharmaceutical drugs (in the first place). Prevention is key. (ie. Type 2 diabetes is a "CHOICE" and can be avoided with a plant-based diet);3. Programs like OHIP should include services like acupuncture instead of use of pain medications4. Depression and Anxiety is the leading disability (affecting 10% of the world population (18% in the US)). CBT, diet (reduction of ALL sugars (except fruit), gluten and simple carbs and dairy should all be avoided), meditation, vitamins(especially Vit D) and minerals (magnesium baths/ epsom salts) should be visited before use of NSAIDs as NSAIDs could increase suicidal rates and may have other side effects.See Dr. Greger's review of medical journals at www.nutritionfacts.org for more information on a plant-based lifestyle.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • Granny1 2 months ago
      To say type 2 diabetes is a choice just proves how ignorant you are about the disease. If ot was a choice, only obese peop,le would have diabetes, all vegetarians would be disease free. There is a genetic component to diabetes just like some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis. Are you suggesting that these sufferers should pay for their meds themselves unless they are ‘natural’. Obviously you have no compassion for suffers of these afflictions. As a sufferer of type 3C diabetes, this is a type cause by trauma to the pancreas, I have to use insulin 4 times a day. I didn’t choose to have diabetes, it was thrust upon me by a surgical error that left me with less than 10% of my pancreas, and I will lose more of it as I age. Do some more reading.
      • maria.pillitteri 2 months ago
        I'm sorry to hear that you have type 3c diabetes. That is horrible what happened to you. (at minimum - I hope they compensated you for their mistake) I was only referring to type 2 and that "prevention is key". My apologies if the wording was insensitive. That was not my intention. My grandmother had type 2 but there is hope for people with type 2 diabetes. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diabetes/ No one should have to cover the cost for their meds, but let's focus on nutrition and prevention first before letting big pharma get all the profits. For your own journey, consider pursuing this: http://www.healthpromoting.com/clinic-services/your-stay (For over 33 years, the Center has helped more than 20,000 people regain their health via water fasting) unless too much of the pancreas is already gone. I'm sorry to hear this.Best wishes to you.
        • Granny1 2 months ago
          I have less than 10% of my pancreas that still functions, Fastingg is not good for diabetics as it messes with blood sugars to much. I agree, pr vention is a key part of type2, but it starts in the schools and homes. U fortunately, no matter how diligent a person is, they can still develop diabetes just because of the genes they were given. I didn’t sue the hospital since it was an error and not an intentional screw up. I will cut ie to work with my dr’s and dieticians to control my diabetes.
        • EclecticPony about 2 months ago
          Except that a lot of people diagnosed with "Type 2" actually have Type 3c. Also, as Granny pointed out, Type 2 has a massive genetic component, which is frequently ignored in today's climate of hating fate people (when loads of thin people also have Type 2) In addition, many people have other issues which would make a plant based diet difficult or dangerous for their health. As well, the real issue with Type 2 is carbs. By trying to insist on a plant based diet, you're actually pushing people into eating more carbs. Granny1, thank you so much for that information about Type3C. I had NEVER heard of it before and it is definitely what my husband has had for the last 8 years, when he had most of his necrotic pancreas removed. Luckily his doctor at the time did put him on digestive enzymes, although no one seems to have a clue how to properly use them, but his records have claimed he has Type 2, despite being perfectly healthy before the surgery & entirely insulin dependent afterwards. I have always proclaimed him Type1, not realising there was a 3rd option.
  • rozzypozzy about 2 months ago
    Make sure that all citizens can afford the prescriptions that are keeping them healthy, regardless of their income.
  • MattP about 2 months ago
    The objective of a national pharmacare program should be to cover a basic formulary that will ensure that high impact medications (those offering a significant improvement in quantity or quality of life) should be available to those who cannot afford it, which implies that it should be means-tested.The government should leave the private system alone. I, for one, do not wish to be forced onto the current public formulary where, if the drugs are even covered, is far more restrictive than virtually anything that the private system is able to provide. I don't want new medicines to be delayed for years, which they currently are under a public system. With the private system new drugs are available immediately. This is a fact.As for cost-savings, since when has the government ever legislated anything which has saved money or made things better? I live in Ontario - hydro? car insurance? Cell phone providers? And even if some savings were to occur through negotiation, we live in a global pharmaceutical market where global decisions are made regarding each market. There is a floor price in which global pharmaceutical companies will not wish to undercut. Will we be able to access the newest, most innovative medicines? Unlikely.Looking across the provinces, there are very few gaps in terms of people's ability to access medicine. BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all have Blue Cross providers which are non-profit and the drug coverage is affordable. Will people in these provinces benefit more than their taxes will increase? No. Will their drug options improve? No.Ontario? Yes, there are some gaps in this province, but is it necessary to have something other than the Trillium program? No, it basically provides all the drugs I've characterized (life saving, high impact) and is means tested. Would the average working population benefit more from moving to a fully public system? Absolutely not. Will it cost more? Possibly. Will access to drugs improve? Not for the working population and their families.Quebec? No, they've got their own system and wish to opt out of this universal plan. Don't blame them.Atlantic provinces? Perhaps there are some gaps in these provinces as well.Overall, possibly a small potential benefit in the acquisition cost of drugs, but likely with a huge increase in government expenses, taxation, and a large decrease in access to new medications. For what purpose?This is a political move that, if implemented in full, will unfortunately make our lives much, much worse. It sounds great in theory, but won't work in practice without a huge decline in our expectations for our healthcare system.
  • DaveP about 2 months ago
    The goal should be to provide a base level of drug benefits for all Canadians regardless of province. It does NOT have to cover every drug, but the critical, life saving and sustaining ones should be there with an effort to ensure the right drug for the right person at the right time.This can not be a one payor only plan. It must continue to allow employers and private payers to supplement coverage for the drugs not listed on the formulary. Between BC, ON and PQ, we have a range in formularies from about 4,400 to over 8,000 DINS and I think the answer likely lies within that range but needs to be continually assessed. Past methods such as CADTH that evaluate drugs based on a person over age 65 must be modified to account for disability, lost time etc to better reflect the working population and hence make the drug choices more logical from all (employer, patient, public etc) sides of the equation. There should be instant savings of up to 20% just from removing the administrative costs (profit, admin, commissions premium taxes etc.) that private employer plans are faced with. Additional savings may be obtained due to the size of the buying group, much like the government has reduced generic prices substantially over the past 10 years.This is doable within the current provincial framework. It can be done at a net neutral cost (by shifting from employers to the government), but it should NOT have the cost placed on the employers alone for the entire population (working, non-working, families, retired, etc.).
  • radar1 2 months ago
    My concern is cost. Governments are not well known to spend money judiciously and/or responsibly. Look at our health care now. It currently (or soon will) represent 50% of budgets and increases each year. Because it is so embedded into our society, governments refuse to look into how it can become more efficient but end up just spending more. Pharmacare would be fantastic but is it realistic?
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 5 Disagree 14 Alert moderator Hide replies (12)
    • lyra about 2 months ago
      Governments' injudicious spending has little to do with how much we spend on health. Our healthcare is publicly funded but privately administered, so physicians make exorbitant salaries. Another huge cost is drugs - governments have less bargaining power and high pharmaceutical costs make drugs a huge national expense -- having a universal plan would bring these costs down. And finally, hospitals account for the majority of spending on health care -- accounted for, in large part, by Canada's aging population. Not everything is 'because of government'
      • Suzieque about 2 months ago
        Canada's aging population is in line with the rest of the developed world, therefore higher health/hospital costs are, in fact, due to lack of government planning and resources.
        • lyra about 2 months ago
          What do you mean by government planning and resources? Again, health is PRIVATELY administered - not for profits run hospitals, physicians open their own practice and are small business owners.. the federal government has precious little to do with all of this - their role in health is to collect taxes for health and to divvy that money to the provinces, which in turn make their own funding decisions. And finally to say that 'Canada's aging population is in line with the rest of the developed world' completely misses the point. The rest of the developed world have different systems and different provisions for long-term care -- Canada is struggling to deal with seniors because we have no concerted long-term care options and who are otherwise entering hospitals to deal with the different nicks and bumps that come with the aging process
          • Suzieque about 2 months ago
            To quote your words, "Again, health is PRIVATELY administered" is incorrect.Read the Canada Health Act: "PUBLIC administration" is at the top of the list. "Provinces make the funding decisions"; yes they do: If you don't like the cost of delivery of physicians' services as a result of government-physician negotiations, take it up with the government. "concerted care options" are the responsibility of government. If you don't like the cost of delivery of services, whether it be physicians, dieticians, healthcare workers, etc., talk to your MLA; I'm quite sure funding would be a major reason.
            • lyra about 2 months ago
              As a health policy researcher, I have read the Canada Health Act (CHA) many times. Health is *privately* administered (organised, managed, and delivered by private institutions like non-profit charities and business owners) and publicly funded. In the CHA, 'Public Administration' was interpreted to refer solely to the funding of health, an interpretation which remains a major contention amongst health policy advocates
      • wicky about 2 months ago
        A few years ago in Sask. 10% of people aged 65 + used 45% of hospital services. The other 90% used 55% of hospital services. It’s not accurate to lay high hospital costs on the aging population.
        • lyra about 2 months ago
          .. Your statement seems to support my point. A small fragment of seniors is using almost 50% of hospital services... The number of seniors is only rising.. Therefore, without long term /home care plans, Canada will continue to see a rise in hospital service use..
        • Suzieque about 2 months ago
          Thanks for the Stats! My initial post was in response to lyra's that Health costs are in large part due to seniors entering the hospital due to no concerted care options, which in my opinion is the ultimate responsibility of the funder, i.e. the government to ensure a plan and resources are in place.
        • Suzieque about 2 months ago
          Oops, my response to your post in below lyra's; should have been below yours!
      • Reality101 about 2 months ago
        I don't think all doctors make exorbitant salaries. The more patients a primary care doctor can cram in on any given day, the more money s/he will make. Doctors make more if they adhere to that ridiculous one issue per visit nonsense, as well. Also, Canadian taxpayers need to stop subsidizing doctors' malpractice insurance (Canadian Medical Protective Association). Doctors should solely be responsible for their malpractice/liability insurance. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for that. Finally, a pharmacare plan should be based on a person's income - sliding scale. No one should have to go without medication because they can't afford it.
        • lyra about 2 months ago
          I agree, Reality101. Canada's fee-for-service payment structure does nothing to incentivize physicians to ensure good long term health, and it must change
  • damec about 2 months ago
    As many other countries have proven, a truly universal pharmacare system is the way to go, as it gives the government better bargaining power when dealing with for-profit companies. Buying bulk = better deals
  • wicky about 2 months ago
    I recommend the following.Universal Pharmacare. Everyone is covered Lowers costs.Public Pharmacare with a single payer. Again lowers admin costs and improves efficiency.Comprehensive, safe and effective with an arms length Drug Commission to develop a nationwide formulary with authority to OK non-approved drugs for special/odd/new diseases.Accessible which means that all Canadian rural areas, including our north and Indigenous areas, especially in Sask. These areas must have access to safe, clean, affordable, efficient public transportation. Without public transportation, reasonable access is not available in many areas of Canada..Affordable. I think there should be a line on our income tax form that says pharmacare. It should be a progressive tax collected by the Feds. and shared with the provinces..
  • ananonymoususername about 2 months ago
    About 1 in 10 Canadians who are prescribed medications cannot afford them (source: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/3/297). If 1 in 10 Canadians could not afford a life-saving surgical intervention, we'd all be in an uproar. This cannot continue on. The objectives of a national pharmacare program for Canadians should be: * Affordable access to prescribed medications (below a certain income cut off these would be free, above the cut off they would be heavily subsidized). * Speed of getting your medications. Make sure getting medication doesn't go any slower than it is right now. * Because healthcare is otherwise provincial, there should also be a cut to provincial transfers (so provinces like Alberta or Ontario keep more of their money, while places like Quebec and New Brunswick recieve less) in response to less demand on the healthcare system - people taking their medications won't be as much of a burden on the system then they would be if they ought to be taking their medications but can't afford it. ¶
  • Sandycarol about 2 months ago
    Equitable coverage nationally- no provincial variability. Affordable copayment- coverage of copayment for low income persons.
  • Pharmacist about 2 months ago
    Is Eric Hoskins actually reading these comments? Or anyone on the Advisory Council? Perhaps media should ask at their next photo op.
  • Shaman 2 months ago
    I think it's unaffordable. In Ontario we have the Trillium program, which helps with the cost of drugs for patients without coverage. I support that program, but not blanket coverage for everyone. Why should the government start paying for what is already being paid for by a third party? That's what the Ontario Government did with OHIP+ which was bad financially for the same reason. There has to be a big tax increase to cover this, otherwise it's financially irresponsible.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
      I support the Trillium program as well. Not blanket coverage - that was a Liberal move to garner votes.I like the Ontario model of a hybrid system of private and public co-pay where patients have to pay a small amount of $2 to help support the system. However too many pharmacies unethically waive this $2 co-pay [direct violation of Trillium agreement]. National PharmaCare could have a hybrid model as long as the co-pays aren't being waived.
      • Pharmacist 2 months ago
        Pharmacy chains are the worst offenders of de-valuing pharmacists
        • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
          I also observe that pharmacy chains are also responsible for high costs to the patient when they pick up medications. They propagate unnecessary use of necessary and unsafe medication use because they do not provide an environment for pharmacists to provide good quality care yet they are quick to point fingers at other professionals such as physicians.One overlooked offender of the opioid crisis is the pharmacy. Pharmacists know that it is odd for a daily dose of say 300 mg of morphine a day yet it is still dispensed.https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/impostor-seeking-oxycodone-lands-b-c-doctors-and-pharmacists-in-trouble-1.3110305 "Records show 51 doctors wrote Gettings more than 250 prescriptions that were filled at 104 pharmacies between January 2007 and January 2013." Pharmacists and pharmacies still gave out these medications despite questionable history of opioid use. Current model of pharmacy is to simply dispense medications no questions asked. This is the most profitable way for pharmacies to earn income however it is incredibly wasteful for the government and the taxpayer. There needs to be more safeguards in place to prevent this from happening. Such as a national PharmaNet system and e-prescribing. Responsible use of national pharmacare funds means also have a system of accountability.
  • peaceologist about 2 months ago
    Why are you doing this? There have been two Commissions: 1964 and 2002, and you, your party, promised it in the 1997 campaign; it was in your platform. God knows we don’t need to be paying for prescriptions after all these long years of suffering with this turnaround of our health care intentions, and god knows we don’t need to be spending any more of our over-squeezed tax money for yet a third study, or any more stalling. Even your kids would tell you it’s a no-brainer, just do it and live up to your commitments to look after your constituents. I remind you that it was your party that withdrew nearly half the committed funds for health, education and all other social services 25 years ago—from which we have never recovered and we have never forgotten. Striking another commission will not improve the image of the Liberal party, wherever it is. We elect you to serve our needs. Do the right thing and represent us, not big business and its money-power, and not just the well-to-do, but this time, the rest of us.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 8 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • lyra about 2 months ago
      Exactly. Federal commissions have recommended pharmacare for decades now. Why this poorly disguised ruse to 'consult' millions of Canadians rather than just act on the recommendations of expert health economists and providers that have been pushing for universal drug coverage for years? So frustrating.
  • kit about 2 months ago
    We need to have a national pharmacare program. It is sustainable and will make it fair and equal for all Canadians.Canada will be able to buy their products at a reduced rate, therefore making the cost much more affordable for all!!!!
  • dentist about 2 months ago
    I believe everyone should have access to medications to improve their health. Universal coverage will only be cost effective if the cost of drugs decrease and if private insurers decrease the cost of private plans if government subsidizes drugs.
  • MJR604 about 2 months ago
    To provide universal drug coverage for everyone. Since “most” Canadians already have coverage, this shouldn’t be as expensive as some people think it will be. The drug companies are making a killing in profit so maybe it is time that this changed ?
  • MJR604 about 2 months ago
    Most Canadians have some sort of prescription drug coverage ? I find that hard to believe! As a retired RN with 2 teenagers living at home, I can’t afford extended health coverage for my family. I had good benefits while I was working but when I retired 5 years ago, it all stopped. To get prescription drug coverage (plus physio, massage, chiropractor coverage that I don’t use), I would have had to $395 per month ! On a pension, that’s just not doable.
  • saturn about 2 months ago
    The objectives should be to give coverage to people who do not have private coverage and to ease the burden of people who are paying above and beyond their private coverage. There are also certain medications that should be covered by a program such as this because they end up not being covered by many other plans and having access to them would benefit society (ie. oral contraceptives).
  • qpwoeiruty12345 2 months ago
    Canadians expect the government to pay for everything now. National medicare, pharmacare, childcare, whats next? Dental? Vision? Housing? Pay for yourself people. The government should stay out of pharmacare!!!
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 17 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • Hilberto 2 months ago
      People should have pharmacare,dental and vision care.
      • PensivePharmacist about 2 months ago
        But people also refuse to pay more taxes - instead say they want more with less. Other countries with more medical benefits have around 40% taxes in the middle income area.
    • LostInStacks about 2 months ago
      Healthcare, and housing are basic human rights according to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which Canada ratified). So yes, vision, dental, and housing should be provided for those who cannot afford it. And hearing aids, while we're at it.Have you ever had to buy glasses? The cheapest you can get is usually around $200. I become legally blind without my glasses. They aren't an optional extra luxury. I either have to part with $200+ I don't have or I can't work. Would you rather pay for glasses for people who need them, for the expensive equipment people who can't see need in order to get around, or unemployment benefits if they don't have access to the other two? 'Cause I'd sure prefer to work, I like my job.
      • PensivePharmacist about 2 months ago
        @LostInStacksUnaffordability is relative. There are people who can’t afford housing despite their incomes. We have people with good jobs who can’t afford housing and drive 3+ hours to get to work. Should the gas and car and insurance be covered? Would you rather pay for this or their employment benefits? Cheapest car and insurance is only a few thousand. While housing may be a basic human right it doesn’t mean that everyone is entitled to live in Toronto, or Montreal, or Ottawa. Even if the entire city of Calgary was converted into social housing you can’t force people to all go live there. Regarding the $200 glasses. You can ask the government to pay for $500 for everyone. Or you could work with governments, optometry, manufacturers to work out a deal do glasses cost $10 so that everyone can benefit. Which one is more sustainable? Assuming there is finite resources of course
  • Owl 2 months ago
    Universal coverage of all prescribed medication.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 10 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
      I respectfully disagree. This doesn't take into account the finite number of resources available. This blanket statement is not constructive nor does it forward the conversation
      • lyra about 2 months ago
        Sure - as a pharmacist you stand to lose out on profits with universal coverage, so why should you agree?
        • PensivePharmacist about 2 months ago
          Not really. Since I'm not an owner I don't see many of the dollars that go towards the pharmacy.Universal coverage doesn't mean pharmacists don't make a profit. In fact if it is simply blind universal coverage for all drugs that are prescribed without taking into account evidence and cost we'd make way more money. Why not prescribe and dispense all the cool new expensive medications? Pharmacy pockets more that way. Pharmacy makes less when it is a private payer. People choose not to fill medications due to cost - but now maybe the drug isn't needed but it's free so.... why not cost tax payers money?
      • LostInStacks about 2 months ago
        So if you're poor you deserve to die? You really shouldn't be in the healthcare business.By the way, we have enough medication to go around (and we can always make more), so your "finite number of resources available" line is complete bs.
        • PensivePharmacist about 2 months ago
          I don’t see how you managed to interpret my statements as condemning all the “poor” to “die”. Comments such as this, again, doesn’t forward the conversation. We have enough medication to go around and we can always make more isn’t a valid discussion point. Companies CAN make more - they won’t do it for free. @LostInStacks - you stated yourself that healthcare is a business. Money in money out. If we didn’t have finite resources (as you say) then why stop at drugs? Why not“Universal coverage of all housing?”“Universal coverage of all heath foods?”“Universal care of all clothing” And of course“Universal care of all medications”Surely housing, healthy food, clothes, are all a basic human right alongside access to medications no?I’m thrilled to hear that we actually have infinite resources. We can help every single person on the planet now without even paying more in tax. Truly a historical moment in history.
  • Dornath about 2 months ago
    Costs for my asthma medication were above $200 per month in the brief time I did not have private health insurance after turning 25 and being removed from my parent's insurance provider. Should I have to pay money in order to be able to properly breathe, or is this not the function of government to provide measurable improvements to their citizens lives?
  • Understanding about 2 months ago
    In our Canadian version of our western democracies political-economic system. It is a problem when too many make a living of upholding adversity, and the government fails in the responsibility that which cannot be private sectors Bay and Wall Streets, and them who address the problem is out of luck - a set up to fail. In my research sharing my time mostly between Europe and Canada US the Canada pharmacare hodgepodge should have been solving for instance along the Swedish system for many years ago -obviously, the voters of society accept it a and that Canada stealthy is losing it public healthcare system beside research and education Canadas most important comparative advantages -but who cares https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/CommitteeDocuments/40th-parliament/5th-session/health/Submissions/WrittenSubmissions/PetersenKell.pdf
  • Tamayaka about 2 months ago
    I would like this plan to include items like homeopathy and other products and equipment used by Naturopathic doctors. For example, my family's MDs are not able to diagnose, let alone treat, Lyme and co-infections. However, my family now has an LLND who has been able to very effectively diagnose and treat the issues. The medicine is extremely cost effective - especially the homeopathy. However, certain items can still easily cost me hundreds of dollars per month. This cost barrier has slowed recovery and so far cost Canadian taxpayers at least $15,000 in disability income-tax credits. It would have been much less expensive for all concerned if my very young family member could have immediately had access to the necessary expertise, equipment and medicine.
  • thehatalberta 2 months ago
    The second last part of the survey asked about the current drug coverage of myself and "Person 2" in my household. For "Person 2" there was no way for me to indicate that he did not have ANY drug coverage currently. I was forced to select between public coverage and private coverage or "I don't know". In fact I know that "Person 2" is not covered by my plan and, because he is working two jobs on a "permanent part time" basis, he has no medical coverage (and also no dental nor eye care coverage). The option to indicate "no drug plan" should be included.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 4 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
  • Calpernia about 2 months ago
    Objectives of a National Plan should be to streamline government administrative and overhead costs so that savings can be passed on to the patients thus increasing the quality of care (especially for seniors).
  • Grendel's Mom about 2 months ago
    Everyone should be covered. Include diabetic test strips.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 3 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • PensivePharmacist about 2 months ago
      I respectfully disagree. This doesn't take into account the finite number of resources available. This blanket statement is not constructive nor does it forward the conversation
  • Nehima123 about 2 months ago
    1) Cost-effectiveness. The best plans cannot work if they are not sustainable. With a National Plan, our purchasing power will be even greater, and we will have the ability to provide more drugs at a lower cost to more people. 2) Affordability. People should have the right to affordable treatment. Even as a healthcare provider, I have had to turn down prescriptions due to cost alone. It shouldn't be that way. Have each citizen's MSP fee (rolled into taxes now) be based on an income curve where low income people pay nothing and higher income people pay nominal costs. Absorb extra costs or compensate with big purchasing power and Lowest-Cost-Alternative programs. 3) Accessibility. Every single Canadian needs to be able to use it and be part of it, including Aboriginal Health Authority members, Homeless & at risk individuals, and refugees, among others. Make it a basic utility. These tenets work in practice in BC, for the most part, but need to be expanded and improved upon. As a Pharmacy professional, I see this every day at work.
  • MamaLani about 2 months ago
    All people should have complete Prescription coverage including Diabetic Test Strips that currently cost seniors and others over $100.00 per month if testing 4 times daily. Too many diabetics are experiencing costly complications because they can't afford the test strips. One of my prescriptions costs me over $1000.00 per year. I am a disabled senior.
  • Ibrahim about 2 months ago
    Should provide people with affordable medications and alternate medicine. It should be income based with more discounts being given to people on low incomes, and less subsidy to people with higher income levels. We do not want any citizen to suffer from lack of medication due to financial hardship. The Canadian citizenry must be healthy so as to enjoy their lives and contribute to society.
  • slulu about 2 months ago
    1: make it clear what the objective is. Right now the gov't is saying too many Canadians can't afford their drugs. If that is the problem, then let's address that. But, the gov't and advocates are also saying that it will save costs. It may save money overall, but it will add money to some layers of government whether it be federal or provincial (if private is out of the game) and it will be transferred to tax payers. Bulk buying may save costs, but it may not actually achieve lower out of pocket costs for those who can't afford their drugs.2. If the goal is truly to help those who can't afford their drugs, then a fill in the gaps model is best. There is a lot of confusion as to who can't afford their drugs and why and for what drugs. Here are the 2 issues as I understand them, which can be addressed through other means than a pharmacare program but achieve the same result:a - There is a very small proportion of private plan members who are unable to afford their high cost medications because their private plans are unable to afford their pooling charges set by their insurance companies. The insurers are asking for lower drug prices (but they are not promising to lower premiums to employers). But, in those cases, if private insurers were regulated to be forced to pool across all plans across the country, suddenly the small plan who is hit by a $100,000 drug per year for their employee will be in a better place to help their employee access the medication that will save their life and keep them at work. The problem is the insurers don’t want to be regulated because it would lessen their competitive advantage. Here we are discussing how high pharmaceutical prices are. And they may or may not be depending how you compare them. But no one is talking about other players in the system that contribute to the cost of drugs (i.e. distributors, pharmacies, prescribing practices) and to the cost of insurance (insurers), in the conversation around pharmacare and unaffordability of drugs. Insurance may be inefficient but it is not a reason to scrap it. There could be some simple oversight and regulation to protect consumers from insurance costs when it comes to health care services, like they do in many industrialized countries around the world. There are also actually laws and regulations in Canada currently that are preventing insurers from becoming more efficient and serving Canadians better. So let's have a discussion about that and how they can help. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have helped patients access their drugs for years, when insurance fails, by providing free or financial assistance. So, let's set some rules so that insurance is incentivized to help patients, and not fail them.b - The other issue is with the low-income who are unable to pay for even their very cheap medications, even if they have public drug insurance because the deductibles and co-pays are set too high. Those are the same people who also struggle to pay for their food and rent. Is the solution to give them free drugs or cheaper drugs, or give them free rent and food instead (or all of the above)? There are several ways of addressing this: one is to lower or remove deductibles and cost-sharing or make them more income-appropriate adjusted for the rest of the cost of living where they live, i.e. by province, by city, by rural vs urban, etc. This could easily be done by linking patient health information with their tax information. This is already done in some provinces.But we should not lose sight of the fact that they are also struggling with other basic necessities which is impacting their health. If those were better taken care of, then they wouldn't be so sick and need so many medications (and wouldn't have to forego them because of cost). This is a more holistic problem about the social determinants of health.If food is medicine, then giving them a subsidy for healthy food (e.g. through a local farm) might actually do more for their health than giving them free medications. And giving them free or subsidized mental health services, might also do more than giving them free medications. Providing free access to pharmacist coaching services could also go far in supporting their health and lowering their reliance on medications. And making sure they get access to social housing or get some kind of subsidy to afford normal housing, could also do tons for their health, not to mention that they could then afford their medications (if they still needed it).This is a great opportunity to tackle one of the greatest health challenges of our time: chronic disease. Let's recognize that drugs won't eradicate this problem. They may mask it for a little while. But the data shows it is only growing and costs will only grow. Even if drug prices fell, it would provide temporary relief, but down the road, utilization will bring it back to where we started and will continue to grow costs. So let's talk about how to solve the real problem, and PHARMACARE or reducing the price of drugs will not do that.
  • Potential about 2 months ago
    1.To cover a portion of the cost to a Canadian patient, both inside and outside hospital, of a Health Canada approved drug, material, or process deemed appropriate by a health care Professional.2.To assist in establishing and then maintaining a target level of mental & physical health of all Canadians(as part of an overall yet specific policy of the federal government on what constitutes acceptable health of Canadians. Establish what acceptable health looks like for various demographics, then design programs o assist it, with an emphasis on prevention ).
  • Potential about 2 months ago
    This process is collecting comments upon what the objectives should be for a national Pharmacare Program. Not whether or not we should have one. In fact, as the Federal government well knows, there are several national programs already. So, the Feds have already decided there will be one, they only want to check to see what a sample of 36 million different people think should be its objectives. In my mind, the objectives should centre around providing products and services at a reasonable cost to the user so that their health is returned to a state equivalent to what it was before they needed the intervention of that specific product or service. Our health should be the objective, NOT a cost reduction or cost containment criteria.
  • nsabdelkader 2 months ago
    Every Canadian should be covered for drugs; either through private third party or pharmacare
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    • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
      I respectfully disagree. This comment doesn't take into account the finite number of resources available. This blanket statement is not constructive nor does it forward the conversation.It is no different than if anyone had said"all education must be free""fresh and healthy foods must be free""access to high speed internet must be free""all housing should be free""clothing is a basic right"By simply demanding without providing thoughtful details is unhelpful
  • Suzieque 2 months ago
    My CONCERNS re VARIABLES in National Pharmacare: 1) that employers not pass on all Formulary Prescription costs to the general public (why do 53% want Public while 47% do not?) 2) while employees may expand Extended Benefits with the savings, the low-income/poor may have no private or provincial Extended Benefits. 3) the more affluent can pay for medicines not funded or partially funded by Pharmacare whereas the poor cannot, nor afford some Prescription Medicines if changed to OTC status as suggested in Commons' report to save billion(s) of pharmacare dollars. INITIAL OBJECTIVES: Set federal standards based on why 10% can't afford medications (drugs used, income, medical conditions, prescribing practises) and commonly/frequently prescribed medicines (bulk purchasing). Physicians should be encouraged to prescribe Formulary medicines. CONSUMERS: Everyone should be registered for Pharmacare, with Standards, Formulary established by Federal Government as well as Consumer Costs (Premiums) based on income to a reasonable max (% of income), reduced premiums for low-income and zero costs for those living in poverty. Minimal co-payments at Pharmacy. The goal of consumer costs should be based on patients' needs and affordability, not ease of administration/same cost for everyone. I also suggest Federal Gov't consider regulations re essential prescribed medical devices not covered in some provinces unless one is seeking employment; that essential health basics are denied to fragile elderly seniors in poverty who can't work, can barely walk, or can't see or hear, or have an ailment requiring as assistive device (or rotten or no teeth) is appalling. Provincial Health (Extended) Benefits should be equalized amongst all provinces or, at least, low-cost public health clinics made available to provide same. OPINION: 4.8 million Canadians live in poverty as defined by Statistics Canada: Unlike Universal Heath Care (assured physician and hospital care) Pharmacare will not cover the entire cost of all prescribed medicines and variables could leave the poor behind. I respectfully disagree that free-for-everyone is essential to avoid embarrassment to the poor; on the contrary, the truly poor don't object to special considerations, rather, the problem is the overwhelming despair resulting from being trapped in a system that excludes a funding means/procedure to fill an unaffordable prescription.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 2 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • Hilberto 2 months ago
      To long and complex to agree, disagree, reply about individual concerns.
      • Suzieque 2 months ago
        Hilberto, I agree; to summarize:An approach BASED ON INCOME that FILLS IN THE GAPS so all Canadians have affordable coverage with a safety net for extraordinary/ongoing/high drug costs. Also, equalization of provincial Health(Extended) Benefits or, at least, mandatory provision of low-cost Public Health Clinics for basic dental, hearing/eye care, mobility/assistive devices in all provinces.I do NOT support Universal Pharmacare because the overall cost to taxpayers would be overwhelming and could still leave gaps for the low-income/poor, e.g.Those with private/employer insurance could add/expand Extended Benefits with the savings on lower-cost drugs (Commons' Report) and the more affluent can pay for drugs partially or not covered. HOWEVER, the poor (who can't afford rent and food) don't usually have private Extended Benefits, (or government Benefits in some provinces); can't afford to pay for drugs partially or not covered or for some prescriptions if changed to OTC status as suggested in Commons' Report.
    • Granny1 2 months ago
      While I agree that some income based plan would be helpful, what would be the cut-off? For example, before I retired, I was earning $75k a year. Then, because of,a surgical error, Where he doctor nicked my pancreas, I as hospitalized for over four months. I had contracted c-diff that was slowly eating away at my pancreas. When I left the hospital, the doctors prescribed a super powerful antibiotic to continue the fight with the infection. I was lucky that I had a drug plan through my work. This drug would have cost me $800 for one month’s worth. I couldn’t afford that kind of cost. I think all life saving drugs should be covered, regardless of income. Some people make ‘just’ over the determined income. Sure, doctors can look at alternatives to certaIn drugs, but sthey metmes there is no other options to mental health drugs, pain meds, and of course what is usually referred to as ‘orphan’ drugs. If someone has private insurance, the private insurance should continue to pay, before the national insurance is applied.
      • Granny1 2 months ago
        Wow, I must learn to type with my thumbs. I wanted to say sometimes there are no other options to.....
      • Suzieque 2 months ago
        Granny1: A very valid question; I don't have an answer for what the cut-off amount should be. I support a hybrid system of private, and public (with premiums and/or co-pays based on income) that includes a Catastrophic fund for assistance where a costly essential medication is not on the Formulary. Universal plans take much longer than private for approval of new drugs as in the UK. I don't support Universal; why should the Public pay for Formulary drugs for those that already have Private plans so they can expand their Private Plan Benefits with the savings. I agree that all life-saving medications should be covered. (Sorry about your hospital ordeal; ideally the hospital would have sent you home with a supply of antibiotics!)
  • Pharmacist 2 months ago
    As a pharmacist, I strongly believe we need National Pharmacare. It is crucial that pharmacists be recognized as medication experts and our role should be leveraged to act as medication stewards. I am a pharmacist at a Family Health Team. I work with patients and prescribers, community pharmacists and the health care team to ensure medication use is necessary, safe and effective. There is no other regulated health care profession that has the depth and breadth of pharmacotherapy training as pharmacists. Government needs to invest in pharmacists. Frankly we need funding for pharmacists to be integrated in primary care teams to optimize medication management. I hope that frontline pharmacists are consulted with - so far, it seems like pharmacists have been ignored in Pharmacare discussions. Until we recognize that “care” is the key part of Pharmacare - and not solely focus on drug cost, coverage and access- the health of Canadians will be affected adversely. I implore the Advisory Council to reach out to pharmacists working in Family Health Teams.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 8 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
      However many existing pharmacists are not trained/ have lost/ do not care about their clinical skills. Since dispensing, insurance, and unreasonable documentation requirements by College are valued above all, community pharmacy is not going to be recognized as medication experts without conflict of interest.Yes, a pharmacist at a family health team is valuable - however funding is always an issue. Also the sheer number of pharmacists graduating is an issue. Using BC as an example - their investments into clinical pharmacy in community practice fell short of their expectations.BC has three billing codes for clinical medication reviews. Medication Review S [MR-S], Medication Review Pharmacist Consult [MR-PC], and Medication Review Follow up [MR-F]. The key difference between MR-S and MR-PC is the MR-Standard means that after a pharmacist has reviewed all the medications no drug therapy problem was found vs. the MR-Pharmacist Consult found a drug therapy problem. Look at the recent stats from 2016/2017 on BC PharmaCare's website:https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare/newsletters/news17-009.pdfAround 85% of all their medication reviews billed were considered to be MR-S. Approximately 85% of the time fully trained and licensed pharmacists couldn't find drug therapy problems....Then the counter argument is that pharmacists did find issues AND resolved them. They simply chose to do MR-S because it was less documentation. Unfortunately that's 1) highly unprofessional and 2) it does the patient a disservice by having less documentation. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1544319116306525 This article by BC pharmacists evaluating the BC medication review program found that - "Overall, we observed few changes in the level or trend of any of the outcomes we studied. Both review types were followed by significant increases in both the number of prescriptions per month and expenditures. The continuation of long-term medications did not change for 3 of 4 classes, and increased very slightly for the final class. We found no evidence of deprescribing, either for classes that are potentially problematic for long-term use (benzodiazepines and proton pump inhibitors) or for potentially inappropriate prescriptions in seniors." "Our results suggest that medication reviews did not significantly modify prescription drug use by recipients."Money well spent. I'm not saying all pharmacists are unable to provide high quality clinical services such as yourself. I'm saying that many pharmacists who've worked >5 years at big chain pharmacies have had their skills dulled over time.
  • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
    BC PharmaCare also had a clause where it had the power to unilaterally remove pharmacies that were provide bad/ unethical/ illegal practices. I believe National PharmaCare should follow suit. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare/nep.pdfBC PharmaCare struggled for years upon years with pharmacies that provided bad practice that served to de-fraud the provincial payer. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/pharmacy-paid-addict-kickback-for-prescription-hidden-camera-1.748138Other examples include:-Providing 4 week blisters but billing government daily and weekly-Billing medications that weren't picked up, weren't prescribed-Fradulently adjusting co-paysThese practices cost the government valuable dollars that could be spent on Canadians who need this service. It's about accountability, efficient use of funds, and ethical practice. In BC nothing could be done regarding these unethical pharmacies as it wasn't in the provincial provider agreement and it wasn't in the provincial College mandate to regulate business matters.BC PharmaCare finally decided to create a new enrolment agreement with pharmacy providers that allowed them to terminate billing agreement with any pharmacy that practices in bad faith. Previously as long as the pharmacy was still open they could still bill the government - while they were waiting months in court/ College proceedings etc.https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare/pea.pdfThis needs to be part of National PharmaCare so it can swiftly terminate electronic billing
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  • Barbara 2 months ago
    Please read: http://pharmacare2020.caA National Pharmacare Program needs to be implemented now!
  • dobing66 2 months ago
    A program that provides necessary medications to Canadians, without compromising the current programs that are in place. A plan where government becomes 2nd payor, and where private plans provide the level of protection required for their employees. A plan where business' are required to implement programs to provide healthcare protection for their employees, similar to programs implement in the Province of Quebec. Mandatory protection for employees, where the government would provide coverage for those that do not have access to private plans. A plan that is a joint effort between private business and government spending.
  • PensivePharmacist 2 months ago
    As a pharmacist I would like to help educate the pricing of medications [at least in BC] so that the general public, private sectors, and government bodies understand.When someone goes to the pharmacy and picks up a prescription they see how much the drugs costs [let's call this A], how much their insurance pays [let's call this B], and how much their co-pay is [let's call this C]Many people have complained how [A] is different from store to store or how they pay [C] differently pharmacy to pharmacy. Let me try to shed light on this:A is broken down into:1) the base cost of the drug [i.e. what the pharmacy pays for the drug from its supplier]2) the markup on the drug [which is either a percentage, a flat dollar amount, or a combination of both]3) the dispensing fee on topMost people don't realize that the base cost of the drug is regulated. There's constant news about how the government has managed to drop the prices of drugs such as this article:https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/generic-drug-prices-1.4509073Yet Canadians feel as if they are still paying so much. The answer lies with 1) the markup of the drug and 2) the dispensing fee. The mark up and dispensing fee vary widely across pharmacies. While savvy consumers may ask pharmacies about their dispensing fee, they usually don't ask about the markup. The mark up can range from a few cents to dollars in the double digits!Insurance companies and governments can't control the pharmacy pricing of markups. That means even if a government is successful in getting blood pressure medications for pennies per bottle, the pharmacy still has to earn a profit and doesn't pass on the savings to the consumer. I strongly believe that National PharmaCare and private insurers should consider, in addition to formulary, evidence based medicine, practicality etc., to ONLY pay 100% for the base cost of the medication [i.e. what the pharmacy pays getting from the supplier] + a modest portion of the dispensing fee. The markup should be unique to each pharmacy as it should be as different pharmacies provide different services BUT it should be up to the consumer to choose to pay for these services, and not accidentally go to a specialized pharmacy, pay specialized markup and fees, only to walk out with a simple medication. Canadians should know that, under National PharmaCare, the cost of the drug is fully covered, and that their co-pays are for the quality services of the helpful pharmacist. This helps reduce the cost and burden of PharmaCare where provincial programs were paying for the enormous kickbacks that went to pharmacy owners. It did not benefit patients nor did it benefit pharmacists. The big chain pharmacy owners grew profitable and proceeded to streamline their systems so that it nurtured better and profitable dispensing rather than quality medication management services which didn't bring in as much revenue.This way will allow patients to benefit from the hard work of governments and insurers to keep costs low, avoiding the pharmacy middlemen who will swallow up the difference, leaving nothing for the patient.
  • naomib 2 months ago
    Equitable treatment for all Canadians is the goal. This should include drug options for "rare" diseases, currently addressed in a spotty fashion across the country.Example: alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. Treatment to allay the disease is covered in BC, AB, PQ, and previously in ON. but elsewhere only if private health/drug coverage, eg Sun Life for GOC employees. Much of this private coverage stops when Pharmacare could kick in, eg at age 65. The treatment of the disease by weekly Prolastin ( allegedly $100K p.a) to avert further decline in enzyme is the ONLY treatment option .Patients are very few in # ( say 200 across the country) but treatment should be available for ALL Canadians to ensure equitable treatment. Treatment has a HUGE cost-benefit in avoiding expensive hospitalisation let alone HUGE improvement in quality of life for Canadians and their families afflicted. There are many patients in Atlantic Canada that have no ability to access Prelastin. This is not right. Does one have to MOVE to get treated? Drug cost should go down with single government purchaser surely??
  • wonnbi 2 months ago
    all people be covered, with a qualifying means test.
  • Larry Peterman 2 months ago
    I have several concerns. 1. Will it lead to a culture of more prescriptions by doctors? My physician was a pill guy, about 1/3 of his scripts for me did not get filled and I am still alive at 70, thank you very much. 2. Will people start demanding prescriptions when one is not needed? 3. Will it increase the advertising of prescription medication? 4. Someone has to pay for it. We assume that there is a magic fairy that produces the money and voila, there is the program. I am already appalled at the fact that my great grandchildren are going to be paying off the debt my governments incurred to buy our votes and stay in power. I agree with some form of program that has a sliding scale, as in the more you make the more you pay, the less you make, the less you pay. And I think that everyone should pay something - there are no free lunches, somebody is paying.
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  • Jackspratt 2 months ago
    Who will be funding this national pharmacare? And will this funding (if any) increase personal and corporate taxes?
  • NORTH123 2 months ago
    To provide coverage for medically required prescription drugs for those who don't have private coverage.
  • Kaledan 2 months ago
    All prescriptive drugs should be readily available to all Canadians
  • SueL 2 months ago
    Medications should be free to everyone
  • Smithso 2 months ago
    Universal without regards to income less than $100,000
  • Iolaus 2 months ago
    The objective is to ensure that no Canadian goes without the prescribed medication they need because of an inability to pay. It's time for pharmacare, dental care, vision and hearing needs all be addressed under our national health care. I would also support an initiative to repatriate pharmaceutical patents, to manufacture medications here rather than buy from Big Pharma in the US; we could create jobs while lowering the costs we currently pay. Finally, I support the idea of decriminalizing drug abuse; nations who have done so see a sharp reduction in addiction as well as in the crime currently surrounding abuse from drug trafficking to stealing to support a habit.
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  • Asungu 2 months ago
    That all those in need of prescription medication should be able to obtain it either by paying for themselves if able or by payment assistance when needed.
  • mcandrew 2 months ago
    HelloAn effective National Pharmacare program must have:1 Bulk purchasing contracts with negotiated pricing on a national level.2 One program for all Canadians not a patchwork of some employer and some government coverage it must be universal.3 Have a broad and reasonable formulary that works in a transparent manner and is sensitive to exceptions where necessary.4 low or no out of pocket upfront costs.Employer plans are inconsistent and trying to manage a patchwork would add to the complexity and confusion on who pays when. In addition benefit providers do not negotiate pricing as such but feed in the upward spiralling drug costs as a result.Where I work there is a drug benefit but it fails me and my colleagues often as commonly prescribed and new drugs are slow to get coverage if they ever do. Even when they may be better even some times less costly in the long term.We need a rational pharmacare system now!We need a National Pharmacare system now!
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  • blacky004 2 months ago
    A total prescription drug coverage for people at risk like the seniors and sick person. All prescription drugs should be free.
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  • Mikeca 2 months ago
    Coverage for therapeutic drugs for any Canadian who needs them. A small copay or deductible would be a prudent measure to reduce abuse.
  • Sardi 2 months ago
    Prescription Drugs should be made available to all Canadians at a reasonable cost.
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  • Luvinretirement 2 months ago
    Prescription drugs should be affordable and accessible for all Canadians.
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  • Joyce 2 months ago
    Prescription drugs should be affordable for everyone. They are far too expensive in Canada.
  • rizpic 2 months ago
    As a pharmacist opinion, the objectives of National Pharmacare program is 1- Availability of drugs to patient, this point has two broads sub categories1.1- evidence based medications available, so physician can prescribe a good molecule and pharmacist feel comfortable in dispensing1.2- the molecule is freely available; due to cost effective strategies and LEAN philosophy the pharmaceutical process is so thin a slight change in market leads to backorder situation.2- The model or objective should not be cost effective. There are many evidences where a new molecule, brand name drug no generic is available, can produce far most effectiveness than a old molecule of the same class. I practiced in the UK and I saw the unfortunate disaster.The health sector can save millions of dollar to regulate the International medical graduates. There is a bottle neck process due to limited residency seats.3- The system should finance equally by federal and provincial authorities, and provincial authorities receive funding base on size and age of population. There should be a incentive mechanism to promote a fair competency4-In primary phase hospital should be excluded from the model as there are many unique situations5- There will be miss use of the drug because in the public eye, as it is free. In this situation, pharmacist should not be a part of policing as it will break the strong relationship of PPP (Physician+pharmacist + Patient)6-I must emphasize on collaboration of different stakeholders especially pharmacists as many time this profession ignored.
  • ammmacmahon 2 months ago
    The objectives of a national pharmacare program should be to a) provide pharmaceuticals to every Canadian in need, and b) control costs through price negotiation, preemptive care, and labour costs.The obvious choice is integrating pharmacare into the single-payer system, especially if the drugs can be negotiated at the national level. This will have the most negotiating power, full coverage, and middling public labour costs. The second option is federally funded not-for-profits negotiating. This would have some negotiating power, full coverage, and low public labour costs. The current model, and the "fill-in-the-gaps" model, are completely untenable. The risk pools are terrible because they are people in high need of pharmaceuticals, and they also tend to be quite small, meaning there is little negotiating power. They're also done ad-hoc by the provinces, meaning there is a ton of overlap on labour costs. Either nationalize the insurance, or make it a heavily regulated not-for-profit industry. These are the european models that work. The ACA "fill-in-the-gaps" model is horrific, and should not be emulated.
  • Christine0912 2 months ago
    Quality medication for all people
  • nottoold 2 months ago
    I feel all drugs should be covered, Pensioners should not be charged for any prescriptions. They have worked hard & contributed lots to this country. Also receive a small pension. Others If not getting free prescriptions should pay a small fee.
  • Open Minded 2 months ago
    I would do it in stages as this will take time to figure out. Cover all Health Canada approved rare high cost conditions that even insurance companies can't afford would be a good start. Where health care is divided provincially, I would make health care a federal responsibility first and have them take over the hospitals and doctor offices and all the tax money.Then increase our income taxes, say $1,000 a person and hope all the employer plans pass along the same amount of money they were paying for benefits to their employees as a wage increase so we could all afford the extra tax hit.We have to consider how its financed.
  • Calgary 2 months ago
    Healthy people are productive people and contribute to a healthy society. Being seen by the medical system, diagnosed, determined that medication is necessary to ensure good health is wasted if that medication is not obtainable due to cost. The objective of a national pharmacare program should be to ensure that if a person living in Canada needs medication it should be available to them. The program should be national with access being the same across the country.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 9 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • Majanurse 2 months ago
      Many seniors and others on fixed income don’t take prescribed meds due to costs. They may skip doses or take smaller doses of their prescribed medication.
    • Wafer 2 months ago
      You are totally right - health people are productive and contribute to society. But the reality is that we need to shift our healthcare to a more prevention based approach so that we can try to work to shift the burden of costs from all of these issues/illnesses that are largely lifestyle related (example is all the cost put into joint replacements with patients who are overweight and generally are going to have complications or relapses).
  • Cathealth 3 months ago
    I believe that it’s time for a universal, single-payer prescription drug plan that is accessible, comprehensive, publicly administered and portable. No Canadian should be unable to afford prescription drugs.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 27 Disagree 2 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Just concerned that high income Canadians who can afford to pay drug costs and often have a private insurance plan should NOT be included in a new "universal" drug program. Funding for this program should go to those in need - not those who can already afford their drug costs.
      • Len Webster 2 months ago
        To achieve the reduction in drug prices, it has to be everyone. Everyone in one risk pool to achieve the best prices. I won't say "two tiered" because that is a loaded term, but the practice of filling gaps drives costs UP, not down. See Quebec, highest drug prices in Canada.
      • K 2 months ago
        With the greatest of respect, I would say that their are many Canadians with private plans that have increasing co-pays, and even annual or lifetime caps. Our health care system gives Canadians access to care regardless of their ability to pay. No means testing required.
        • Wafer 2 months ago
          Private plans have been forced to increase cost or reduce coverage as the public health system has been downloading costs onto them at an unreasonable rate. The main one would be things like chemotherapy treatments that are now in pill format - so no longer covered by provincial healthcare - the patient is sent home with a prescription to fill. There needs to be more conversation about a balance between a multi payor system. The public system should be covering those without coverage and taking on the burden on catastrophic(really expensive drugs) or the situations that are more of a public health issue - like treatments for hepatitis (which are also costly). I think private companies and organizations want to help take care of their employees but they just want to be able to have something that is sustainable.
  • Jawed Shukury 2 months ago
    Rare disease patients who are mostly children are left behind. New breakthroughs happening around the world but Canadian patients have no access to these treatments. So this is an important area that needs to be considered.
  • Raemart 2 months ago
    Given that rare disease affects a large percentage of Canadians and in particular children, I feel that it’s incredibly important to factor this community into the conversation.
  • Gary 2 months ago
    Will medications for non curable diseases like HIV and prevention meds like Prep be completely covered by the National Pharmacare Plan, if so great, if not, why?
  • Gary 2 months ago
    I would like to know if you are going to be looking at the model that all Canadians have to be on the pharmacare program, not exclude those that have group insurance. I truly think that if you everyone is on the plan, the plan can become cash positive, this was the mistake that the Quebec Government did in 1996.
  • citizenadvocate 2 months ago
    To provide the most comprehensive programme for those who can least afford it. It needs to be universal, single-payer prescription drug plan that is accessible, comprehensive, publicly administered and portable. Thank you.
  • tooth-ed 2 months ago
    Question: Are drug manufacturers more interested in making money than in restoring sick people to health? We need scientific proof that a specific drug will accomplish what it claims to do before we invest public money in buying it. However, everybody in Canada should receive the drugs they need. No restrictions re citizenship, perhaps length of intended residence. How would you enforce it? Hmmm. Over time, private health insurance should disappear. Unions can renegotiate contracts to transfer liability for health insurance from employers and private companies to the government. Government should get the premium money. Dismantling the current health insurance system will be quite a trick -- fought tooth and nail by insurance companies, whose employees will have to be absorbed by government or by unemployment insurance. Much work ahead. Any stats available on union members getting health insurance? Numbers covered, number and value of claims, are all employees, including management, getting the same coverage?
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 3 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • concernednewfoundlander 2 months ago
      All medications are made to go through a Health Canada (and often also Food and Drug Administration US) testing to prove that they not only do what they say they're doing, but also perform better than a sugar pill, or placebo. The exception for this is of course is the health supplements which state their claims are not verified by Health Canada or the FDA, and those would not be covered by a private insurer, or likely a public one either. Health insurance companies would likely see a reduction in their clientele, but would still need to exist, to cover off things like medical transport, services not under Medicare, like chiropractic and physio, and also things like dental. Pharmacare is a large portion, but not their only gig, so it wouldn't mean total collapse of that industry. Likely what would happen is they would offer extension plans, covering medications not covered under pharmacare, similar to what they do with medicare now. There would almost certainly be exclusions for one reason or another, and private insurance could bridge that gap by offering coverage, even if it was just for things like vitamins and over the counter medications with a prescription.I don't know if there's specific national information for the insurance levels among unionized workers, but I do know that most (if not all) provincial federations of labour do have stats on their province for insurance rates among their members. If you called one and asked, I'm sure they would be more than happy to provide that information. The Canadian Labour Congress may have compiled some national information, but I'm not totally sure on that one!
    • changemymind 2 months ago
      The problem here is letting the government make the decision about whether there is enough proof that a specific drug will accomplish what it claims to do. If you want the government to pay for your drugs, the government also has to ration those drugs. Same as the rest of our health care. Resources are not infinite.
  • K 2 months ago
    National pharmacare should be as universal as our access to hospitals and physicians under the Canada Health Act. If it is only an attempt to fill in the patches it will decrease our ability to save for bulk purchasing, and result in costly and possibly embarrassing means testing. Not to mention many Canadian's who do have a drug plan, likely have co-pays that are rising regularly and even annual or lifetime limits.
  • Mr. Curious 2 months ago
    There should be no debate or hesitation in this regard as it only makes common sense to have a national program even if it costs everyone ten dollars a month.Health care costs are soaring through the roof and our population is only getting older not younger, prescription drugs are out of control and the Canadian public is being raped by the drug companies.Our government a government of the people need to take action and be just that a government of the people and get control of prescription drugs like they do in Europe.It is utterly ridiculous having a health care system like ours and have the drug companies usurp it by charging exorbitant prices for the drugs Canadians need to overcome disease and end up dying because they cannot afford the drugs! How does that help the system when they keep going back to the hospital or doctor because they cannot access the proper treatment.THIS IS A NO BRAINER!
  • Jshaban1 2 months ago
    The role of Government should be to make strategic decisions that are in the best interest of its citizens. National Pharmacare should take into account the total savings to CITIZENS, not just the initial cost of Government to establish and fund the program. Clearly if a program exists to improve quality of lives for Canadians and decrease the pressure on health services delivery - pharmacare is it. This has been studied and debated for decades. The proof exists that this is a wise decision for Canadians.
  • pharmacare_phil 2 months ago
    Please see http://healthydebate.ca/opinions/pharmacare-wont-save-money for a comment on the economics of pharmacare
  • will-o-the-west 2 months ago
    This Advisory Council must study the work of the European Medicines Agency. They will also be wise to consult with the national pharmacare programmers of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway in particular. These countries keep medicines affordable by controlling which new ones are covered, by setting maximum prices, by covering generic drugs, and by negotiating purchases jointly with other countries. In the Netherlands, 3/4 of all prescriptions are for generics. More than 4/5 of prescribed drugs are reimbursable in Switzerland. Norway's "step price" system for generics has ensured that generics' prices have fallen, while its "preferred product" system contains prices for reimbursables. These countries would provide good models for Canada's national pharmacare program.Oh, and our national program also needs to mesh with means-tested provincial programs already in place, such as B.C.'s "Fair Pharmacare."
  • eska 2 months ago
    It must be universal, it must be administered by the public service, there must be an evidence-based national formulary (like Quebec's), and it should not have any user fees or deductibles. Finally, it should not be funded as part of the Canada Health Transfer but instead should have a separate fund
  • Jshaban1 2 months ago
    Objectives of a national pharmacare program should be: 1) access to medication for all Canadians equally 2) more efficient management of medication nationally to avoid shortages and difference in coverage across provinces and territories. 3) cost savings gained (individual and government) through more efficient bulk contract negotiations with manufacturers / suppliers and Reduction of the burden on health care system and a healthier population overall due to access to medication.
  • Bert 2 months ago
    Our Canadian healthcare system is long overdue for such a modernization. A national pharmacare program is the boost our faltering system requires and would be one step closer to delivering Tommy Douglas' vision for an accessible, universal, portable, comprehensive and publicly administered healthcare plan for every Canadian.
  • Bert 2 months ago
    A national pharmacare program should be universal, comprehensive and enforced nationally. Such a program would save Canadians billions of dollars which can be used to make our country even more competitive than our existing healthcare system already makes our country.
  • agingsenior 2 months ago
    to ensure most cost-effective coverage, I think it is important to have an accountability link with various governments; also all Canadian residents should be covered, and costs recovered via federal tax system
  • OBA1207 2 months ago
    National pharmacare is an opportunity to take a preventative approach to health care, and ensure everyone has access to the drugs they need. Ensuring everyone has access to the drugs they need is not only the compassionate, right thing to do, it has been routinely proven to be the most cost-effective approach to save on future long-term health care costs. Taking a preventative approach and creating a universal pharamacare program will also decrease the number of Canadian's having to leave the workforce due to preventative illness, and therefore strengthen our economy. Currently, there are too many Canadians living with a chronic illness who cannot afford the drugs they need. Specifically, I would like to point out that 57% of Canadians living with diabetes are noncompliant with therapy due to cost-related barriers. This is unacceptable. I want our national pharmacare program to invest in health care prevention, and above all, to invest in Canadians health and well-being.
  • agingsenior 2 months ago
    National pharmacare should ensure that all Canadian residents have access to out-of-hospital drug coverage at point of delivery. Terms of coverage should be universal, comprehensive, publicly administered and portable.
  • Len Webster 2 months ago
    I agree with the conclusions of the Standing Committee on Health. A single-payer model for out-of-hospital drugs. This is the only way to marshal the maximum buying power and get the best prices. Longer term this should of course be extended to devices, and there is no reason that vision and dental should not be treated the same as every other medical service. The productivity and quality of life of toothless blind people is not to be envied.
  • Lorraine 2 months ago
    Pharmacare should assist persons with named medical conditions, ie diabetes, etc. There is too much money spent on reviving drug addicts who chose to inflict themselves whereas aging people develop named conditions due to long years of hard work or general aging. As a diabetic with insurance, there are so many items I buy that are not covered. I am a healthy diabetic but at 67 know my body is breaking down a little at a time. I feel there is more need for assistance from somewhere. I have an income but budget faithfully and strict but I also choose not to do certain things with friends because I need the money for meds. If Pharmacare could cover Naturopath remedies, I believe a lot of people would go that route instead of Big drug companies. I could be wrong but there is quite an argument toward it.
  • hfraught 3 months ago
    To ensure all Canadians - regardless of income level - are able to receive the drugs/treatment they require to lead a healthy, productive lifestyle. No Canadian should go without the medication they need: not only is this inhumane, it also often costs us more in the long run. A national program needs to be fair, cost-effective and transparent.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 12 Disagree 2 Alert moderator Hide replies (3)
    • Nellie 3 months ago
      not "REGARDLESS OF THEIR INCOME LEVEL". The very wealthy do not need taxpayer funded drug coverage.
    • Cassie132 3 months ago
      I agree. Having a child (now 32 years old) who suffers with generalized refractory epilepsy and now polycystic kidney disease. If it wasn't for my husbands company benefits, we would've lost everything, including our son. I could not work, because of our son's seizures. But soon my husbands benefits won't cover him, because of retirement. There is no way he can afford the medication he takes a day. His meds on average over $400.0 a month! How is he to afford the meds after there is no coverage? Canadians need a universal pharma plan. Canadians like my son who depend on medications to live, will die.
    • concernednewfoundlander 2 months ago
      I agree. We do not limit our healthcare to those who make under X thousand a year. This is a dangerous limit to set because small increases in pay can bump someone over the threshold, and cost them much more. Not only that, but by offering it to anyone less than everyone means those excluded will see it as a target to cut when times are tough and there needs to be cuts made in government spending. If everyone benefits, it won't be as easy a target as before
  • healthcare101 3 months ago
    Working in the healthcare field, I have seen many things. regardless of financial status, race, age,medical situations, all peoples have the right to have there pharmaceutical needs meet. Universal for all Canadians. The government has had alot of time to fix this problem without success full well knowing that peoples will decided to live without food if they have to, but they don't need to do that, at least not when we as Canadians have a voice. Now it is time that we fix it as a Country together for the individuals that live in it. Everyone has the right to live, to eat and to have their medical prescriptions covered regardless of cost. Universal and together for eachother. If we do not make that stand and have that voice as Canadians for people, then who will?. I hope that you will all agree.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 8 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (4)
    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Concerned that those with high incomes (over $90,000) should not be eligible for universal drug coverage. New pharma care program should concentrate on 1) lower income patients, 2) patients with chronic disease who cannot afford medicine (such as insulin) and 2) children and seniors. With no employer pension, those over 65 cannot afford medications.
      • healthcare101 3 months ago
        All Canadians should have the opportunity and eligibility because they are a Canadian Citizen, regardless of what there income is, medical conditions,status, race or gender. Otherwise, you are allowing the government to judge and so far, they have done plenty of that and so are you doing the same. Let the judges judge, lets work together for everyone's benefit, for all Canadians.
      • GoExpos 3 months ago
        We DO NEED to improve our tax system so that the high income people, and Corporations, pay their fair share of taxes, instead of hiding money in offshore havens, getting deductions for all kinds of things and simply refusing to pay. (Even when they're caught, the Gov't accepts an arrangement for them to pay back "a percentage" of what they owe). With such a system, I'd be happy to pay for everyone to have the drugs they need. (And it's more efficient than trying to calculate who can afford what, which would cost a fortune.
      • concernednewfoundlander 2 months ago
        While I absolutely agree that the lower ends of our society cannot make ends meet on the current system, I think it's important that all Canadians be able to use this plan, automatically, similar to the Medicare system. While many of the lower ends will make so little they will barely contribute to the program, the higher ends will be picking up the slack in their tax bill. Their buy-in is required in this program as well for it to work, and if they are not included, they are not likely to buy in. By providing an automatic system everyone is eligible for, you there is no question about if people deserve it and also significantly less risk of a rising floor, meaning more people get left out. If the cap were to be under 25, over 65 or makes less than X thousand yearly, a minor pay increase could bump someone out of the program that desperately needs it, and when times get tough financially, the government can push to expand it to under 20, over 65, and then over 70, even lower income thresholds. Universal means that all people can benefits automatically, not just like a welfare system for the select few that will create animosity and end up the target of governments to come
  • concernednewfoundlander 2 months ago
    While many Canadians have insurance coverage which will cover and support them in regards to prescriptions, it often leaves them with coverage gaps. For many people, making less than a living wage, the added cost of insurance is a necessary evil, but one that is too hard to cover, meaning they have to go without. Whether it's the monthly cost for a retired citizen, the high bill for a new worker, or just the extra added bill for a young family, it can be very taxing. Add to that, when prescriptions are excluded, and copays are high, it creates a barrier to essential medications. A national pharmacare plan should be available to every citizen, automatically, with full coverage of all prescribed medications and drugs. There should be no coverage gaps for diabetes medication, OCPs and any other medications a doctor declares is medically necessary. If a program is instituted with the design to be offered only to low wage citizens, certain age groups or other targets, it creates barriers, which can be harmful, as those just outside of those hard limits will not be able to avail and will see no gain, which defeats the purpose of the program. National universal pharmacare is a huge undertaking, but similar to healthcare, can be done. Through proper regulation, Canada can control the pharmacare market to ensure that prescription drug prices are in line with the rest of the world, and not American standards. This will significantly lower the cost to the public purse. While universal healthcare will still exist and require funding, some stress will be released, as citizens will be able to get a prescription and take it as required, without worry of how much it will cost. This will reduce doctor and hospital visits for medication compliance in many, but will also have the added benefit of increasing the overall health of Canadians, increasing productivity in the workplace, which will have other economic benefits. Even with reduced costs and increased profits through other areas, there will be a need to increase taxes marginally to pay for this, but doing so is something we have done before with healthcare, and the increase is one that we can take as a nation for the collective good. With the need for pharmacare no longer needed in private insurance, premiums will go down, which means many will no longer pay near as much for insurance as they currently do. If insurance companies make profits, and are required to pay the regular prices for medications, or even negotiated ones, then a national plan with contributions from all taxpayers should be similar, or lower in cost than an average private plan.
  • Jdmh 3 months ago
    Simply, make it universal (like our Medicare) and single-payer (like our Medicare) or little of lasting quality or cosistency with our national aspirations will have been achieved. Thank you.
  • RogerS 3 months ago
    1. To unify the procurement of medical drugs under one payer, the government, which has the scale to negotiate drug prices fairly with private manufacturers and suppliers.2. To distribute medical drugs on the basis of need rather than ability to pay.3. To monitor the prescription of drugs and the progress of medical research into efficacy and side-effects of the same, with power to alter which drugs are available under the single-payer system.
  • Pax 3 months ago
    To provide every Canadian with access to needed medications without financial barriersTo reduce the costs to Canadians of prescription medications
  • Michael Spencer 3 months ago
    National Pharmacare is essential for the Canadian economy, as prominent economists have calculated that the bulk buying of prescription drugs for all Canadians will not only save money by improving the medicare costs in all areas but will also reduce drug costs significantly , hence reducing overall Federal and Provincial expenditures when enacted quickly and in spite of deficite federal budgets related to G.N.P.
  • Chroniesince2007 3 months ago
    As someone who has depended on private insurance coverage since being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2007. I have been painfully aware of what it costs for me to stay healthy. For one current medication it costs over $ 3500 a month. It would be very easy for me to say sure a universal pharmacare plan would be great. I would love to stop paying for my 10 percent out of pocket and the plan cost. I would love to stop worrying about coverage. Do people realize there are many people just like me on super expensive medications. One in 150 people have IBD in Canada and this rate is expected to rise in the years to come. Many people have autoimmune disease that require Biologics which cost big money. Can this program support these kind of costs ? What kind of program could? How will tax payers afford a program like this? You cannot provide access to only to certain populations and pass on the bill to those working and paying for private plan and out pocket expenses. . There should be a fee for using the program to cover some of the cost like a drug plan. Limited access to medication is not a great idea unless they exclude things like cialis which are not life or death.
  • John Bjore 3 months ago
    Health Care, including prescription drugs, is a right of all Canadians and must be fully funded from public funds. A 1% increase in the GST will raise $20 - $25 billion to support a National Pharmacare Program.
  • Memememe 3 months ago
    Program should be universal - let the rich pay via claw back in their taxes rather than discriminating in public benefits.
  • davidg 3 months ago
    Now retired and living in BC I have found that to pay for our precrition drugs and dental care my wife and I need not just one but two private health-care plans, the cost of which totals about $250.00 per month. This is a significant draw on our monthly pension income, yet the plans are not at all generous, having substantial deductibles and not covering anything at all major in detail care, such as crowns or bridges. Frankly, i feel we are being ripped off by the private health insurance sector and receiving inadequate service in return for unduly expensive premiums. The situation in BC is worse than in Alberta, where we previously lived before retiring. Obviously there needs to be parity among provinces and the way to get that is to have a national pharmacare program that also includes full dental care.
  • Chrisjcr 3 months ago
    should be like private car insurance, you need to have it, and a competitive market offers different levels of coverage based on how much your willing to pay. This will create competition and efficiency. The government can regulate the acceptable profit margin, like a utility, to ensure the value goes to the people and not profits.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 18 Alert moderator Hide replies (3)
    • GoExpos 3 months ago
      The last thing I want is private pharmacare. At my age, and as I get older, I have no interest in looking at dozens of options, all promoted with gimics and propaganda, to try to find an appropriate and not too costly pharmacare coverage. Competition and efficiency are certainly not guaranteed, when there are mergers, misleading information, political lobbying etc. I think that there should be one system, run by the government, that provides equal and complete coverage to all.
  • dlhealth 3 months ago
    Universal coverage for all prescribed medications regardless of income or location.
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    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Not regardless of income. Focus should be on those who can not afford their medications - due to chronic illness, low income, disability or age (seniors on low incomes.)
  • allyismydog 3 months ago
    Every Canadian should be able to afford the health care that he or she needs, provided there is sufficient evidence to support a given intervention.National pharmacare should embrace the following principles:1) Available to all Canadians, regardless of their income.2) Funded by a blended model, including i) a fee per prescription (to a maximum amount per month; reduced to zero for low income); ii) employer health care levy (very modest); and iii) federal health care tax (geared to income, to a maximum of $300 per family, for example)3) National drug formulary based on evidence based therapies, those that result in the best patient outcomes including improved quality of life, reduced health care utilization (insulin pumps), and improved QALYs (quality adjusted life years). Expensive medications for rare diseases (biologics) should also be covered, perhaps through a review process. Different formularies may be necessary for aboriginal communities, veterans, seniors, and refugees. A review process for drugs not on the formulary must also exist.
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    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Regardless of their income? No way. There needs to be an income test to focus the budget for this program on those genuinely and financially in need.
  • Memememe 3 months ago
    I favour a universal pharmacy care program on the same basis as the existing canadian health program. It is incoherent to provide health services but not the medications required to remedy the diseases or injuries being treated. I would accept a small users fee and assume that coverage is limited to prescription drugs..
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    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Canadians who cannot afford their medications should be covered. Not the wealthy Canadians, most of whom have private health insurance anyway. The Sun Life health benefits insurance program for federal employees should be audited and investigated. It won't pay for many of my drugs, despite the premiums I pay. This is the fault of Treasury Board who negotiated the contract with Sun Life on behalf of federal employees and those retired. Yet private companies insured with Sun Life offer much better drug coverage for their employees. Federal employees are being treated unfairly by Sun Life.
  • Izzy 3 months ago
    Affordable drugs for every Canadian regardless of income. It should be paid for as a premium by people who make over a certain level of income
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    • Nellie 3 months ago
      Regardless of income? Do you think our MP's need access to a new drug program? No. They already participate in private insurance programs.
  • saucywenchns 3 months ago
    I am one of the many Canadians who has to choose food and rent over the cost of basic healthcare, such as perscriptions, over the counter drugs, basic dental care, eye glasses... I am not unique in my situation and in my research found that 20% of people leaving a doctor's office know they cannot afford to fill the perscription they are given. I am just a low income Canadian who is now suffering the consequences of lack of basic healthcare. In 10 years I should be retiring, but I know I won't ever be able to do that. I would like to see free basic healthcare for all Canadians, free total healthcare for a low income families and individuals, regardless of age... With the buying power of a country a nominal co pay or yearly contruibution will make it easier for all Canadian families to not worry about how the possibility of a major illness could wipe them out financially... The stress should be about getting well, not if you can afford to treat... The most important thing to remember is that Canada and Canadians are paying for it all now, it is a matter of restructuring how it is funded. It will actually save money and have a healthier country....
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    • Nellie 3 months ago
      The key here is "free health care (and prescriptions) for low income Canadians and seniors. No one should do without needed medications because they can't afford them.
  • Nellie 3 months ago
    My Sun Life health insurance does not cover all my medical expenses, including some prescriptions (including dicyclomine HCL and medical marijuana oil for pain treatment). Physiotherapy coverage is insufficient. Also orthopedic shoes not covered ($682). Does not cover pharmacy made creams for pain treatment. My uninsured medical expenses are approximately $1800/year. We need a national pharma care program - especially for those over 65 years.
  • Nipper 1942 3 months ago
    As a former health care worker I feel that Canada needs a National, universal single payer prescription drug plan.It should be accessible,comprehensive. It needs to be portable, and publicly administered. I saw too many of my patients end up in hospital because they could not find the money to buy the prescription ordered.
  • juliem 3 months ago
    I believe in a universal pharmacare program with no restrictions. The minute you place restrictions is the minute you add expensive administration costs to handling of claims. If you want to make it fair then it would be better to increase federal income taxes since the more you earn the more tax you pay. I would imagine it would be a lot less administration and cost to do it that way. Not only that but I don't imagine I would be paying anymore than I already do when I subsidize my senior mom and my children in their 20s who can't afford their prescriptions whether they are antibiotics for a once off situation or regularly forchronic conditions. I've stood in line watching people asking if they can purchase less than the prescribed number of pills because they can't afford to pay for a full batch. Which means that they have to pay another dispensing fee to get the rest of their pills when they do have more money. We need this for dental and eyecare as well.
  • lijast 3 months ago
    The Medicare program was set up so everyone had access to medical care. I think the same should apply to Pharmacare and that is that every person should have equal access to meet a family's needs.
  • DKendel 3 months ago
    Our National pharmacare program should utilize national bulk purchaser bargaining power to assure optimally cost effective medication services for all Canadians
  • HealthProgress 3 months ago
    The pharmacare program should have the following objectives:- use national bulk purchasing to ensure best prices for medications (see NZ price for atorvastatin vs Canada)- tie pricing for medications to efficacy, based on the scientific literature. Many expensive medications work only marginally better than cheaper generics.- a single-payer, universal pharmacare, so small businesses are relieved of the burden of providing expensive private health insurance (avg cost $8300 per employee per year!)The program must be evidence-based, efficient, and universal.
  • trashpanda 3 months ago
    Practice guidelines for medication use should be developed without sponsorship from pharmaceutical companies in any way. Those appointed to develop guidelines should not have any financial conflicts of interest and certainly if allowed to present information should not have a vote in recommending the final guidelines. Currently many of our practice guidelines in Canada are developed by those who have received funding from pharma and this is not ok.
  • PET 3 months ago
    I believe in a universal pharmacare program so that everyone feels invested in it. As well, there should be savings by buying as one large market, as opposed to the smaller market of individual provinces.
  • concerned citizen 3 months ago
    I do not believe in a totally free system, I do believe in a fair means test. I also believe that the federal government should not only control the distribution of drugs but should also control the entire health care system. It is the job of the Federal Government to protect its citizens. Canadians should be able to travel anywhere in Canada and expect the same standard of medical treatment. To start, the Federal Government should cover all the drugs that each province in Canada have already agreed to cover. We do not need an expensive system like the one that the U.S. loves to protect for Insurance Company’s.
  • trashpanda 3 months ago
    National pharmacare should be universally available, a defined national formulary of drugs with robust long term data that support their use for defined conditions (as in New Zealand). Choosing Wisely should be promoted for patients and physicians about the limits and harms of medications (ie overuse of drugs such as proton pump inhibitors) The need for employer and private drug plans should be phased out as these plans are patchwork and do not completely cover the cost. Contraception should be widely available and with no cost at point of care as it is in the NHS. Direct to consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals should be banned. Pharmaceutical companies payments to physicians over a certain $ amount (10-20) should be publically available. Bulk buying should allow the government to keep prices for the drugs covered low. Pharmacies should have to follow strict conflict of interest policies as well. The financing should be through general tax revenues and experts in drug and pharmacare policy, from Canada and internationally should be consulted about implementation.
  • lokumsalpha 3 months ago
    Uniform coverage of prescription meds: all ages, all jurisdictions. Limits on prices paid by gov't for drugs (no more Shkrelis).
  • Hoover 3 months ago
    As with other universal programs, it should be for everyone. There should be no means test. If we taxed accordingly, than it would be equitable. The cost of not having universal healthcare that includes pharmacare and long term care is much higher financially and to society, than providing it. The only people who benefit from our current model are pharmaceutical companies.
  • islandgirl18 3 months ago
    To ensure that everyone can get their prescription drugs free of charge, just like their hospital visits and doctor visits.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 8 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • HVM 3 months ago
      or at least base costs on income. The government did away with healthcare premiums reducing revenue by 1 billion. Low income earners were exempt from paying any healthcare premiums now are provincial government is in debt 1 billion would certainly help
  • Sunny_58 3 months ago
    The objective should be to make prescriptions accessible to Canadians of all ages, income levels, and circumstances. I would like to see a universal, single-payer prescription drug plan in Canada. The cost of living has increased across B.C., for example, and wages in most industries have not increased substantially in years. For young, employed people like myself, rental housing is very expensive and difficult to find, gas costs more, and goods and services cost more. It's hard to commit to yet another significant cost. I have friends who struggle with mental health issues, and they have to choose what groceries they can buy each week because they have to be able to pay for their medication. As for myself, I've gone without medication before for that reason. I wish I could afford those things that make life more meaningful - vacations, a pet, fitness activities and hobbies, but I'm not able to afford them. Most of the young people I know fall into this category even while employed full-time. Add in the huge number of people in debt (student loan or otherwise), and you have a financially-strapped population who find paying for prescriptions very difficult.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 3 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • HVM 3 months ago
      Agree and I would add at least any fitness activities should be tax deductible since keeping fit and staying active improves health. Money spent on social activities have a positive impact on health care spending.
  • HVM 3 months ago
    provide affordable healthcare to all Canadians
  • melpharma 3 months ago
    Pharmacare should have been include in Canadian Medicare from the start. Implemented correctly, it could provide an inclusive and effective lower cost system for all Canadians. I am all for an ethical system for all.
  • dturkboutilier 3 months ago
    People with chronic illness that require dialysis treatments three times a week also have numberous comorbitities. Often requiring numberous medications to maintain better health and less visits to the emergency . Even with additional health coverage many medications hold a high cost and additional out-of-pocket costs. With chronic illness comes disability and the inability to work which furthers the financial burden. People will choose to pay housing costs, food costs and other costs prior to the high costs of medication. This then will increase hospital visits and lengthy hospital stays at a much higher cost to the system than providing attainable medication. We need a national pharmacare system so that it takes the burden off the health care system.
  • pharmacareforall 3 months ago
    Equity, affordability, accessibility.
  • flswenor 3 months ago
    With Pharmacare costs rising steadily and story's of seniors splitting pills and 1/2 dosing because they cant afford their pills the government could leverage its buying power on behalf Canadians to bring pharma care costs down to an affordable level for ALL Canadians. They would also stand up to greedy pharma care executives who would place profit ahead of peoples dire need for treatment.Frank SwenorHamilton, ON
  • Insulin4All 3 months ago
    I'm in my late 20s and have had type 1 diabetes since I was 14.As a teenager, my medication and supplies were covered under my parents' insurance, which was extended during my university years. Since I left school at 23, I've been paying out of pocket for all my insulin and testing supplies, a bill which comes to about $5,000 each year. I was already over the age of 25 when the Liberals' OHIP + was introduced, and never qualified for public insurance.I am also working as a contract employee, as I have been since 2015, with no private benefits or insurance coverage at all. My family and I continue to pay my medical bills out of pocket.Life sustaining medication, such as insulin and diabetic testing supplies - for Type 1 (chronic) - should not have to be paid for by the individual and his or her family. This is an incredible gap in our health care system, where young adults who have left post-secondary school and have yet to land a full time position - if that's even where they choose to go with their life; many don't - remain financially responsible for their life sustaining treatments, where if those bills are not paid and treatment isn't received, they -we- die.
  • lazysnake 3 months ago
    If there were to be an even very basic type of Pharmacare, it should cover drugs that are commonly used and ones in which failure to use would cause health consequences for the individual. A few examples would be antibiotics, diabetic meds & equipment, synthroid, estrogen and other hormone replacements, heart meds and antidepressants. As a healthcare worker, I see the direct results of those who can't afford medications. Lots of poor and mentally ill people coming into hospital with full blown infections, ulcers from uncontrolled diabetes and depression & suicide attempts to name a few. If we could give these people the meds they need at no cost to them, it could drastically cut down on hospital visits resulting in savings to the healthcare system as a whole.
  • Dlipton 3 months ago
    Pharmaceuticals are an essential part of health care and Canada should join the majority of advanced nations in making Pharmacare an integral part of public health care. It will lead to better health outcomes, a more fair society, and major economic savings plus it will make Canada a better place for employers to do business.
  • oldman1942 3 months ago
    I am a senior living on Government pensions, Old Age and Canada Pension. My wife had cancer(melanoma) and much of her medication and supplies was not covered by Pharmacare in our province. As a result I was faced with a huge bill to pay after her death. It took me several years and lots of hardship to recover. Even today I have needs, like new dentures and an eye operation to correct a cataract. These are not covered by any plan. The lens replacement is $250. If we had a Universal Drug Plan or national pharmacare program things would certainly be much better. I am certain that many more seniors are in the same situation. Come on Canada, look after your seniors and anyone in need.
  • cindycato 3 months ago
    Before my mother died, in her old age, she was ashamed to tell me that she could not afford to buy proper food or new dentures because her medicines ate up most of her disposable income once her rent and utilities were paid for. My partner and I subsidized her pharmaceutical expenses for the last 10 years of her life so she could live in dignity. No one should be deprived of necessary medical assistance - whether it is a trip to the doctor or prescriptions. A universal national pharmacare plan is the right step to take if we truly want to show we are a compassionate nation that values the dignity of all our citizens. The time is right to add this to our social safety net
  • samothkead 3 months ago
    The concept of a National Pharmacare program is one of the best ideas the Federal Government has ever had as it will allow access to much needed medications to all Canadians. Universal Health Care has made huge changes to our society and Universal Pharmacare will do the same!! I hope that a National Pharmacare Program is implemented as soon as possible!!
  • Health4all 3 months ago
    To provide Canadians with coverage for appropriate medication to help optimize function, productivity and quality of life in addition to promoting all mind-body healthy lifestyle behaviours.
  • sapientiadei 3 months ago
    Two objectives come to mind:One would be regulating the pharmaceutical industry to ensure price and quality are aligned with Canadian values and realities;Accessible drugs for those most vulnerable. I am not in favour of general categories like seniors. Many seniors i know can afford much more than many people who are younger and struggling. The scale of availability should be based on individual revenue with those on the higher scale of income helping provide access to those on the lower scale.
  • CitizenZero 3 months ago
    The objective should be fair access for everyone. I gather that in Britain, retired people do not have to pay for drugs, nor do people on welfare. The working poor can apply for a low income certificate (although the name may have changed for this) and also get free prescriptions. All others pay a nominal fee for a prescription - about 12 dollars. Some variation of this seems fair.
  • Jezebel 3 months ago
    No drug costs for seniors
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 5 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • CitizenZero 3 months ago
      It's not only many seniors who need drugs to be subsidized. Many young families struggle these days and can barely afford rent or a mortgage. A nominal fee for drugs might help fund the system, or else some kind of means test so that it is fair.
  • Healthy123 3 months ago
    It should be obvious to anyone who has the power, if you can purchase at a bulk price instead of letting big pharmaceutical companies gouge people who are sick or vulnerable, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Not everyone has the finances or help to afford what should be available to all. Even a SMALL yearly deductible would help everyone in need of help when at their weakest. Please move quickly on this very needed affordable opportunity for ALL Canadians.
  • Dinah 3 months ago
    I agree with a lot of the many comments below, however I would like to point out that it is very important that our pharmacare be universal with only one payer (the government). This is the simplest method, and allows that payer to negotiate MUCH better deals on the costs of the drugs as New Zealand does. Secondly it is important to note that, as opposed to when Medicare was originally introduced in the 60s, there has been a large movement to treatment with drugs, and a move to use them in the home rather than in hospital, even cancer drugs these days. By making these drugs available at no cost to patients, a lot of hospital visits can be avoided, saving the ton of money it costs to treat people in hospital. Also, it makes no sense from a system perspective to pay for a doctor visit and not enable the patient to follow the doctor's treatment plan. Regarding co-payments, I would question if they are worth it, considering the costs of administering such a plan--would that not just use up the value of the co-payment anyway?
  • Cx1959 3 months ago
    Universal prescription coverage for people who have to choose between food or medicine. In an industrialized modern society, nobody should have to go without. We’ve misplaced our values to a point where human life is expendable so long as we’re at arms length and can’t see it because we’re too busy chasing the almighty dollar. Time to take care of our society.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 9 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • Dinah 3 months ago
      Yes, that's called the social gap--when the people high up don't encounter the vulnerable themselves on any kind of regular basis, it no occurs to them what conditions and privations they are living under.
  • BusinessBarrier 3 months ago
    There are many young working Canadians who do not have any pharmacare coverage because they do not have an employer. They are self employed. This means that whatever medication they need they would have to pay for which in many cases is unaffordable. When a person is retired all of their costs come from their own pocket unless they pay for insurance, which again, can be very costly. There should be one public insurance company that will cover all people’s pharmacare needs based on the assessment from their doctors. It should be made available to all.
  • frankanderson 3 months ago
    Where a prescription is required for a medical condition, which is prescribed by a competent physician, it should be provided! Drug companies inflate prices that one provider/government can monitor for fairness. Many persons on limited incomes must choose to fill prescriptions, or buy food, or other necessities of life. This truly is a social program that would be helpful across the whole Canadian population!
  • 1871alex 3 months ago
    The chief objective of a plan that provides coverage for all is that there be one insurer, and that insurer be a public insurer. Why? Contrast health coverage in the U.S. with Canada. In Canada there is one public insurer for medicare while in the U.S. multiple private insurers are involved. In 2016 the U.S. spent 17.9% of its GDP on health coverage https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsHistorical.html. In 2017 Canada spent approximately 11.5% of its GDP on health https://www.cihi.ca/en/health-spending. Did the U.S. gain a benefit by spending much more? No. Life expectancy in Canada exceeds that of the U.S.
  • DP1963 3 months ago
    Access to prescription medications, as an essential part of health care, is a fundamental human right currently denied to many Canadians due to cost. It is of the utmost priority that a National Phamacare program be installed in this country to make it a fairer and more just society.
  • Crone13 3 months ago
    Everyone needs to be able to access the drugs they need. (Also dental care should be free and hearing aids should be free or at he very least subsidized. Also glasses. I need dental work, I am in debt for hearing aids, and I spent some of my meagre savings on glasses.) There should be no deductibl;e for drugs. What makes the government think I have and extra $300 at the beginning of every year?
  • Hurt 3 months ago
    I a m a senior with extended health coverage for drugs etc., but too often some prescriptions are not covered at all. E.g. ALL eye drops, the latest blood-pressure meds etc. Hearing aids are scandalously over-priced, resulting in too many seniors forgoing them.
  • Missy 3 months ago
    it’s time for a universal, single-payer prescription drug plan that is accessible, comprehensive, publicly administered and portable. Our universal health care should go hand in hand with universal pharmacare. Time to look upstream and practice preventative measures. Promote health and wellbeing is our goal. Canadians need this.
  • treidlinger 3 months ago
    A national pharma care program is good public policy. If done right it will save money and improve our health care system as people will reduce hospital visits if taking the medication as prescribed. It makes sense on so many levels and is the right thing to do for a healthier population.
  • dfs1952 3 months ago
    Parmacare should be like Medicare. All Canadians should have access, free for drugs they need. Canada should be leading the way in research and prevention. No one should have to choose not to take medication for financial reasons.
  • charrion 3 months ago
    A healthcare pharmacy program where ANY drug prescribed by a licensed practitioner is covered is a minimum. I am a type 2 diabetic with major depressive disorder and anxiety and three of the medicines I require to live are not covered by BC "Fair" Pharmacare. I can only afford these medicines because I'm lucky enough to earn an above average wage with an employer that provides extended medical coverage that covers non-Pharmacare drugs up to 50%. Even so, my personal drug costs total more than $2000.00 per year. I can't imagine how someone similarly afflicted without my fortunate circumstances could afford the medication required to live. I'm also creeping uncomfortably close to retirement, where I will be reduce to a fixed income and likely no extended benefits.In the current climate I may have to decide whether to miss doses in order to afford the simple cost of living. That is not what Canadians should ever have to consider.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 11 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
  • Kennicho 3 months ago
    The objectives of the National Pharmacare Program should be to cover the costs of prescription drugs, at the time of purchase for all Canadians, especially those over the age of 65. There should be no co-payments or deductibles. The program should be fully funded by the Federal Government.
  • Jordymushka 3 months ago
    It should cover all prescriptions, I have a transplanted kidney and pay out of my own pocket over $6000.00. I have to do without other necessaries in order to pay for my drugs. I get a transplant in order to live a better life but paying for the drugs has made my life a struggle. It would benefit many people who live with a transplant and people who live on a fixed income live a better life.
  • venceremos 3 months ago
    Nearly one in ten Canadians cannot afford their prescription drugs. Too many people have to choose between paying for their prescription meds or putting groceries on the table. It’s time for a universal, single-payer prescription drug plan that is accessible, comprehensive, publicly administered and portable.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 11 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • Captain 3 months ago
      Conceptually you are correct. Unfortunately the way National Pharmacare will work is that less drugs will be available to the other 90% of patients who have coverage. That makes no sense to me. If National Pharmacare is about more drugs being available to my family, I’m all for it.
  • lamartin506 3 months ago
    Canadians are suffering, plain and simple! Many cannot afford their necessary prescriptions even if they are fortunate enough to have a health care plan. Many plans do not cover necessary prescriptions and force you to have a dr. fill out expensive forms which are also an out of pocket expense, only to be denied again! I myself had a very good job with a good income compared to most, but yet I had to cut my meds in half as I couldn't afford to purchase them monthly. It is in the best interest of Canadians to ensure they receive the drugs needed to better manage their health so that furthur complications do not arise costing the health care system far more in the long run. Also, many families live in poverty and the cost of a prescription can be the choice between purchasing it or buying groceries.
  • demdiabetes 3 months ago
    The government should be willing and able to cover the costs of essential live saving prescriptions. I think that providing these life saving drugs can reduce costs at hospitals because less people will find themselves in the position where they can't afford these live saving prescriptions and end up in the hospital from complications. I do believe that non life saving drugs should be eventually covered or reduced in price to help those who need them the most. As someone who lives with type 1 diabetes and relies on insulin to keep myself alive everyday I really think that essential drugs like insulin should be covered. No one should have to worry about if they can afford a drug that keeps them alive.
  • fish 3 months ago
    I am not a socialist but 30 million + Canadians have better purchasing power than one province at a time. This a no-brainer.
  • leslea_kate 3 months ago
    A plan whereby all Canadians have a baseline coverage for all the medications they end up needing is essential to be a truly universal healthcare plan (not to forget the need for the same regarding glasses, hearing aids, dental & denture needs, as well as fully funded ambulance services).ALL people should be covered. There should be no fees for anyone, but if that's too hard, then target vulnerable for minimal/no fees, such as seniors, the disabled, low income and those on social assistance. ALL medications deemed essential for health by a certified medical doctor should be covered.No one should be forced to choose between diabetes supplies and rent. Medications or the power bill.As for how it's financed, corporations and rich citizens are hiding billions in overseas accounts. CUT THEM OFF. Get those dollars they owe and increase the tax rate on the rich and any corporation or business making over a million in profit per 100 workers. It's time the rich & profitable paid their fair share for a change. They've gotten a free ride for long enough. (doing this not only would fund all the medical bits I mentioned, but would also wipe out the national debt, and allow funding to replace crumbling infrastructure across the country, and fully fund education across the board).It's not a lack of money issue. It's a lack of money management by corrupt politicians issue as far as that goes.
  • SLshah 3 months ago
    All Canadians should be enrolled in the program. It should be a National program that maximizes the ability to purchase drugs and secure research dollars to improve the health of Canadians. A national drug registry will provide clear documentation of prescriptions, usage and potential problems. Canadians are living longer, healthier lives in great part to preventative care and drug therapy. Medication costs limit the use and best practice to address health issues. Key points1.available to all Canadians 2. transparent documentation system to safe guard use and potential misuse3. a national drug program will support equal access for all Canadians and support a buying power that will decrease costs, enhance research dollars to Canadian research and limit the power of insurance companies in making health choices based on dollars verse the good of the citizens
  • Veteran educator 3 months ago
    The program should provide a secure floor of coverage, on which people's personal and organizational plans can improve. This would remove an arbitrary and significant gap in implementing the dream of universal health care, based on need rather than money.
  • letsdance 3 months ago
    A national pharmacare program should give all Canadians equal access to necessary prescriptions regardless of the province in which they live. It should open opportunities for purchasing prescription drugs at better rates based on bulk purchasing and a single bargainer.
  • QueenBee 3 months ago
    The objectives of a national pharmacare program for Canadians should be: (1) Reduce the costs of drugs so they are affordable for everyone by using the entire country's purchasing power (includes all provinces & territories) to obtain low prices on drugs. (2) To provide low-cost or no-cost drugs to all Canadians, especially unemployed, retired seniors, handicapped persons. (3) To defray the cost of a pharmacare program, there could be a minimal co-payment plan for various sectors of the population, depending on their incomes.I think universal pharmacare would, in the long run save the country money because, as I said above, the purchasing power of the entire country could drive down the cost of drugs. And, by providing the drugs to the people who need them as they need them, would keep a lot of people from needing remedial care as a lot of low-income people skip their medications or break them down into smaller doses or don't take their medications at all because they can't afford them.I hope the government of Canada will move ahead with implementing a much-needed pharmacare program.
  • BSlawich 3 months ago
    I feel that a national pharmacare program should work to reduce costs for Canadians and the health care system overall. It should be universal and seek to cut costs for all but especially for low income and moderate income earners.
  • Gramadayna 3 months ago
    Common and inclusive and affordable access to needed drugs, regardless of where a person resides in Canada.
  • necm40 3 months ago
    A major objective for a Pharmacare program should be equality. By providing Pharmacare we will be increasing the equality of our health care system and ensuring that price is not a barrier to fellow Canadians when filling prescriptions for necessary medications.Another objective of Pharmacare should be to save Canadians money. In 2015, the total price tag associated with prescription medications was $10.8 billion (Morgan, 2017). Adding essential prescription medication coverage to our medicare system would only cost the government roughly $1.23 billion a year (Morgan, 2017). However, it will lead to us and private insurances saving $4.27 billion a year (Morgan, 2017).Morgan, S. G., Li, W., Yau, B., & Persaud, N. (2017). Estimated effects of adding universal public coverage of an essential medicines list to existing public drug plans in Canada. CMAJ, 8(189), E295-E302. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5325730/
  • Hello 3 months ago
    It should be universal for all Canadians
  • prairievikinggurl 3 months ago
    I think the federal gov't should have bulk buying powers to ensure a large and exhaustive list of frequently prescribed medications along with the high cost meds used less frequently but necessarily for cancers, rare diseases, etc. Coverage should be income and need based, not where you live, where you work, what kind of extended health benefits you have, etc. Having a decent paying job as a single mum and getting cancer that requires $700/month just for the medication would break the bank. Being the CEO of a company making a 6 figure income with lots of perks means you could easily afford that. Being homeless, on disability or working a minimum wage job (or three) to try and make ends meet means you shouldn't have to pay anything over a very minor copay (something like $5). Diabetes supplies should be covered for everyone, no matter what, because being compliant with monitoring your blood sugar and taking your insulin means you reduce your cost to the healthcare system from complications of that horrible disease. It will take a lot of work to come up with a comprehensive program but one that is long overdue.
  • Jim Hrolf 3 months ago
    Having lived in Europe I see how in areas in Canada's health care that can be improved upon. Based on a simple fact that a healthy population is less a "burden" upon the tax system then that of an ill person. Also to what end does a Universal Health Care System that serves as an example to many other nations, sends its patients out after treatment without the necessary. Medication to recover completely or address chronic long-term life threatening illness such as diabetes , MS or any other of a host of ailments. What is the point of being diagnosed when you can't afford the cost of insulin or glucoma drops. I never understood this approach to half measures in health care
  • Feldtastic 3 months ago
    Access to the prescriptions we need at an affordable cost... with some kind of tiered reward system that sees the province pay more if a patient follows the non-medicinal health care regime. For example, if my diabetes diagnosis includes better eating and exercise then I’d also be able to get fresh fruit and veg at a discounted rate or a certain amount of money to exercise.Most important to consider - preventative costs fret covered. A govt funded gym membership, tax credit etc.(swim classes to gym memberships) can get a tax credit that’s equivalent to what
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 3 Disagree 3 Alert moderator Hide replies (2)
    • HW 3 months ago
      Though that sort of reward system sounds good in principle, just think of the bureaucratic overhead and cost to implement and track it - not worth the cost, better to spend the money educating all of us on the importance of non-medicinal factors (IMHO).
      • Jayne 3 months ago
        Unfortunately painkillers are covered by prescription subsidies. Alternatives like massage, physiotherapy, yoga and relaxation training that could address the pain issues are only available to people who can afford them. Pharmacare is only one part of the health response. When I had back pain, I went to a surgeon. I asked if he could suggest alternatives. He said, "I'm a surgeon. Don't ask me." I found a body worker and avoided surgery. But I had to make the choice to economize on everything else to regain mobility. A counselor may be more effective than a prescription but again private and effective therapy comes with a significant cost.
  • Mister 3 months ago
    Objective should be (1) universal access to all prescribed drugs. Currently some cancer patients die because they do not have private insurance to cover the cost of treatment, which can be $8000 USD per month or more. We need to be able to help everyone afford their necessary medications, while at the same time promoting healthy lifestyles so that fewer people need treatment. (2) We should provide access to new drugs in a more timely fashion. Health Canada is slow, and the provinces are often slower. These wait times deprive people of new treatments, leading to earlier death in some cases. No one wants to be the person that dies because the drug that could have saved them wasn't approved here yet.
  • peaceologist 3 months ago
    It's bothersome to me that no government has had the integrity to institute a national healthcare program given the values and needs of Canadians and it can't be done soon enough for people on the bottom of the class system, like me. Having worked for nearly 50 years for women's money and no benefits it hardly needs to be studied to reach the rational conclusion that the cost of prescriptions shouldn't be a matter of life in death in this country and governments have a responsibility to ensure that that never happens.
  • Jayne 3 months ago
    Low income people and pensioners should not have to choose between food and medications. Supplies, for example needles and test strips for diabetes, compression stockings for heart patients, etc. need to be covered as well as pills. A single provider, i.e. government agency, that can use its power to bargain with drug companies and suppliers for the most cost effective and people effective products makes most sense to me. Although provinces are responsible for health care, a joint agreement of the provinces and territories would give Canadian bargaining power in the marketplace. Consideration should be given to Canadians producing generic drugs, again to keep costs down. Income tax is a fairer way of raising revenue than passing health costs to the people whose illness reduces their ability to work and earn.
  • canadiannapoleon 3 months ago
    All prescription drugs should be universally covered
  • Lily’s mum 3 months ago
    I support healthcare in all areas for all Canadians, regardless of where they live or the politics of where they live. Coverage for prescriptions, dental etc. Would in the long run cut the costs for health care in Canada and stop us going down the slippery slope to American non-health Care! A lot of hospital care could be avoided by timely use of the right prescriptions, dental care, chiropractic etc. The first stop should be universal prescription coverage!
  • canadiannapoleon 3 months ago
    All prescription drugs should be universally covered.
  • holiday2b 3 months ago
    A pharmacare that provides coverage for basic prescriptinon drugs does not solve the problems. Coverage should include high end drugs for life saving and life sustaining purposes.
  • CGBe 3 months ago
    The objectives should be: (1) Universal coverage, (2) Timely access to a robust list of drugs, (3) Financial protection from high cost drugs and for high-cost claimants, (4) Appropriate access to drugs not on a standard national formulary. All of this should be determined by medical or financial need, not where you live or work. Since governments are often more concerned about budgets and cost control and doing-what-we've-always-done than being responsive, transparent and innovative, a role for private insurance should be seriously considered. Regulation can ensure they also act in the public interest.Beyond the drugs themselves, we should also better measure and manage prescribing and dispensing quality, provide effective education to support patient adherence to therapy, invest in prevention of chronic disease, and collect more robust data to help bureaucrats, politicians and all Canadians understand what's happening in drug insurance and across the health system. You can't manage (or govern) what you don't measure.
  • Fred.kreiner 3 months ago
    The right drug, at the right time for the right patient at a fair price. That is a something my health benefit provider has been doing for some time. This doesn't mean everyone gets the drug prescribed by their doctor, as there may be lower cost alternatives that are equally if not more effective. However, if a lower cost alternative creates problems for the patient, then it isn't the right drug and something else may be need and should be paid for. One of the big problems is the "fair price". When the same drug is offered in other jurisdictions at significantly lower prices, we are not exploiting the bulk buying power we would have as a single entity. Big pharma has not been willing to be transparent about the "product listing agreements" they have with insurance companies and benefit providers. This needs to be put out for the public because sometimes, the drugs that are being pushed by doctors and insurance providers are not necessarily the best alternative for the patient and may be overpriced.
  • Aristarchus 3 months ago
    The objective should be the same as for the mandate to provide provincial health insurance, which I understand aims to equalize opportunity by ensuring citizens aren't held back by healthcare costs.However, as awesome as our universal healthcare is in concept, in practice we haven't solved issues of inefficiency or perhaps special interests. These problems will immediately besiege universal pharmacare. The plan must include robust transparency and checks.
  • Valerie Smith 3 months ago
    I am not very good at explaining my limited views...but the inconsistencies are vast. I worked in office for Prov. Govt. and after retiring my medical plan covers me til I die. My spouse worked for Municioal Govt. His benefits ended when he turned 65. Our niece works in a small store with no medical coverage. Her husband was laid off and now he has no medical coverage for family. We all live in same City... I almost feel guilty for being one of those who has such good coverage. Also, extended health benefits are often given to employees as part of their considered earnings.. maybe that should be separated. I think Doctors should know the cost of medications before prescribing. I have had a $12.00 drug prescribed which never should have been... forcing me to have tests and medications that cost one hundred times that amount due to wrong drug for illness....also have been prescribed meds that I found I was allergic to..expensive ones, which have to be disposed of..what a waste. Maybe if meds were in sealed packages, they could be returned to pharmacies. Some Drs don’t know the cost or effect of drugs and prescribe like candy with twenty repeats... before even finding out if the pills are working....the drug companies are laughing all the way to the banks. I think the majority of Canadians feel no one should go without a required drug because of their income but doubt if any new system will achieve perfection. Thanks for letting us comment.
  • HW 3 months ago
    I support universal coverage for all Canadians. It's the right thing to do and should also reduce some of Canada's healthcare costs for individuals whose conditions worsen due to their inability to afford medications, as discussed in Dr. Danielle Martin's excellent book "Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians".There should be consistency across the country in terms of what drugs are covered. Our healthcare overall is much too varied (between regions and also between urban, rural and remote areas) in terms of treatment coverage, wait time ranges, and even the ability to access primary care. We have multi-tiered healthcare now and the ability to afford treatment is only one aspect of it.In parallel with national Pharmacare, there should be investment in education of both public and professionals, regarding the value of greater caution in both prescribing and taking medications (including over-the-counter ones), as discussed in Dr. Andrew Weil's "Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better - and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own" ...http://www.bookloons.com/cgi-bin/Review.asp?bookid=19778Such coverage and education would result in healthier Canadians, and increased healthcare equity, which has long been a prized Canadian value.
  • Marnie 3 months ago
    • keithmnop77 3 months ago
      That is a good point. We should not regard medicare and other health care as more important than safe food, safe water, and adequate housing.Some in the medical profession (especially their cartels and unions) think that medical care and medical professional salaries are some super-vital thing that is all important above all else.But they aren't. What we waste on excessive billing rates and wages (as compared to France, Germany, Japan, etc.) is lost to patient care and lost to the benefit of society as a whole (roads, education, research, the arts, etc.).Medical care is just one set of cogs in the complex machine that is our society.That said, it would be hard to convince me that introducing national pharmacare to Canada is not going to cause a huge cost increase that would jeopardize adequate food, water and housing.With pharmacare we'll probably save money on reduced drug costs and a reduced in-hospital care.But yes, I agree with you that we must remember that the taxpayers money bucket is not limitless.
      • Marnie 3 months ago
        Personally, I would like us to allow those with money to help (pay for) themselves, preferably without having to leave the country to do so, while freeing up money to better help those without, or with insufficient, money. And ending homelessness helps health immeasurably; physically, mentally, and emotionally with mental and emotional health closely intertwined with physical health.
  • Digitalfish 3 months ago
    1. All Canadians should be provided with their legally prescribed medications.2. There can be a small co-pay. 3. The National Pharmacare program should negotiate and source medication for the entire country.4. There can be a list of 'approved' medications and mechanisms for requesting additions to the list of approved medications. (e.g., Health Canada approved medications are on the list, medications in trial or in approval process are added upon approval.) 5. There should be an appropriate mechanism to add individuals into drug trials and to add life-changing medications onto the list. 6. Nurse Practitioners, Doctors, Pharmacists and some others who may be allowed to legally prescribe medication should be consulted with recommendations for additions, changes to the list.7. Generic drugs are preferred to brand name drugs, if available. 8. Program tightly controlled via automated transmission of prescriptions directly from medical practitioner to pharmacy and subject to audit.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 6 Disagree 0 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • keithmnop77 3 months ago
      I agree, but on point 5 (experimental drugs) I have these thoughts:a) Government should primarily focus on funding drug trials for new uses of drugs that are out of patent. It only makes sense that pharmacare (or any drug insurance monopoly) would help fund research into new uses of existing drugs with expired patents that are now available in generic form.)Pharmaceutical companies won't fund such research because without a new patent, with other companies free to make the same thing, they cannot jack up prices to recoup the cost of their research.b) Government should also help fund drug trials for orphan drugs, drugs for extremely rare illnesses, drugs where there is no commercial market and expectation of profit to cause commercial pharmaceutical companies to fund research themselves.c) I'm not sure the government should be funding things like "Phase III Trials" to determine the effectiveness of patented drugs that will sold to Canadians at full market price. (If we do fund research into drugs, that should translate into a discount on the drug we helped fund.)But basically I agree with Digitalfish.
  • keithmnop77 3 months ago
    I anticipate that there will be a huge amount of lobbying from the existing benefits and package drug coverage companies to limit what national pharmacare offers.The committee and MPs should ignore them.Give all Canadians the same coverage that the Government of Canada has taxpayers provide for MPs, government employees, and so on.Same drug formulary. Same deductible.Taxpayers should not be forced to provide better coverage for special groups than they provide each other.And ill taxpayers should not be held hostage for the profits of private health insurance companies and corporate benefits consultants.
  • keithmnop77 3 months ago
    Pharmacare should cover medicines for all illnesses, not just the popular illnesses with strong lobby groups.One of my shames was that my diabetes supplies were 100% covered here in Manitoba. Whereas people with less common illnesses, illnesses without strong lobby groups, faced very steep deductibles.Someone with rheumatoid arthritis has to come up with the deductible to cover their very expensive ($10,000) rituximab or orencia, $3,000 maybe $5,000 twice a year. (Full disclosure, I a similar illness.) And they may have to do that regardless of whether they are too disabled to work. Whereas a diabetes patient doesn't have to cough up their deductible.This year that changed in Manitoba, and now diabetes supplies are covered under our Pharmacare like any other covered medication, subject to the same deductible. This is how it should be.I gather there is something similar with cancer drugs. You take rituximab for cancer and it is free. You take it for an autoimmune disease and you've got to pay the deductible.Coverage should be the same for all illnesses. Cost should be a factor. Disability should be a factor. The strength of that diseases political lobbying group should not be.
  • keithmnop77 3 months ago
    I'm a senior and to me it is shameful that many provinces has pharmacare for the elderly but not for young parents. It reminds me of in the USA, under Obama, and some groups of seniors down there campaigned against extending medicare to young people, young parents, young adults, because they feared their own coverage would be cut back.Nobody was talking about cutting back anything, but here were this small group of very vocal seniors campaigning against young adults and young parents getting medicare coverage.I thought to myself, IF things ever got desperate, IF we ever had to pick and chose in that way, I would vote to cover children and young adults, then the middle-aged, then young seniors, then the elderly. If we get sick and cannot work, at least we've got the pensions we've earned and GIS.So I'm very much against age discrimination in pharmacare.Fortunately I'm in Manitoba, and we've mostly entirely eliminated age discrimination here.The things we have not been able to do is to reduce our pharmacare deductible to a reasonable level.True equity requires means tests to test all wealth, not just income. The trust fund assets of the wealthy should also be considered.I'm thinking the deductible should be 1% of annual income, with re-assessment possible if illness or any reason has caused income to drop by more than 10%. Perhaps a deductible of 1% of income plus 0.01% of wealth. To make the deductible fair for everyone, not just the bottom 90% of society.
  • keithmnop77 3 months ago
    The objective should be to ensure access to prescription medicines for all segments of the Canadian population. This access should be without regard to age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, occupation, or social standing. Whatever is covered by federal medicare for one segment of our population should be covered for us all. What MPs, judges, and other government employees are requiring taxpayers provide for them, they should ensure taxpayers also provide each other to the same extent.This is increasingly important in a day-and-age when it is not just the unemployed and those on reserves who do not have private health plans, but also the many people people doing multiple part-time jobs, the self-employed, single mothers, and those employed/contracted by outfits like Skip-the-dishes and Uber. Even many large companies are reducing or ceasing private employer-paid health plans.The situation for new retirees of large companies is increasingly grim too.Overwhelmingly, those of us who don't work for a government and are not in a special group are either "much less covered" or not covered at all.
  • Ega Yusuf 3 months ago
    Price, efficacy, usage and need of national pharmacare or universal drug/medical coverage, simply can be combined in medicare.
  • Janky 3 months ago
    Access for everyone needing medications that are not covered by their insurance plans.
  • Marnie 3 months ago
    People with prescriptions should be able to fill them. I currently cannot. Your poll question asked how confident I am about being able to pay for prescriptions ten (10) years from now. My response was that I am fairly confident that I will be able to pay for prescriptions ten (10) years from now. However, right now, I am usually unable to pay for prescriptions. The reason for the difference is that, ten (10) years from now, I will be over the age of sixty five (65) and I will presumably get some help from the government to pay for prescriptions and/or at least help pay for prescriptions. Right now, I am unemployed, financially challenged, under the age of sixty five (65), without medical and dental coverages, and unable to afford prescriptions usually at all. There are two (2) major things that the government should be doing to help low-income people. The first (1st) thing is actually letting people know about options such as the Alberta Adult Health Benefit (AAHB). Unfortunately, the government typically tries to keeps it programs a secret, if not directly then at least indirectly. The government certainly does not go out of its way to let people know about them! And then, if one is lucky enough to finally find out about a program such as the AAHB after needing it, the government refuses to cover anything retroactively; even though, if one had known about the program and signed up for it, items would have been covered. The second (2nd) thing that the government should be doing is not having programs that say: if your income is below x, then you will be covered one hundred percent (100%) for whatever it is that the program covers and if your income is x or above x, then you will be covered zero percent (0%) for whatever it is that the program covers. Thus, because my income is, say, one dollar ($1.00) more than someone else's, I get zero percent (0%) of whatever it is that the program covers while that someone else gets one hundred percent (100%) of whatever it is that the program covers. That is not right or fair. Government programs should use tables similar to child support tables. This would not have to cost the government (much) more money; it would simply distribute the money more fairly. For example, let's say that x is one hundred dollars ($100.00). So, if your income is below one hundred dollars ($100.00), then you will get one hundred percent (100%) of whatever it is that the program offers and if your income is one hundred dollars ($100.00) or above one hundred dollars ($100.00), then you will get zero percent (0%) of whatever it is that the program offers. Let's say that the total money to be distributed is one hundred dollars ($100.00). Let's say that this money is currently being distributed as follows: $10.00 (100%) each to ten (10) people, with the incomes of those ten (10) people being zero dollars ($0.00), ten dollars ($10.00), twenty dollars ($20.00), thirty dollars ($30.00), forty dollars($40.00), fifty dollars ($50.00), sixty dollars ($60.00), seventy dollars ($70.00), eighty dollars ($80.00), and ninety dollars ($90.00). By instead using tables similar to child support tables, the distribution of the one hundred dollars ($100.00) could be something like the following: $10.00 (100%) to the person whose income is zero dollars ($0.00); $9.50 (95%) to the person whose income is ten dollars ($10.00); $9.00 (90%) to the person whose income is twenty dollars ($20.00); $8.50 (85%) to the person whose income is thirty dollars ($3.00); $8.00 (80%) to the person whose income is forty dollars ($40.00); $7.50 (75%) to the person whose income is fifty dollars ($50.00); $7.00 ($70%) to the person whose income is sixty dollars ($60.00); $6.50 (65%) to the person whose income is seventy dollars ($70.00); $6.00 (60%) to the person whose income is eighty dollars ($80.00); $5.50 (55%) to the person whose income is ninety dollars ($90.00); $5.00 (50%) to the person whose income is one hundred dollars ($100.00); $4.50 (45%) to the person whose income is one hundred ten dollars ($110.00); $4.00 (40%) to the person whose income is one hundred twenty dollars ($120.00); $3.50 (35%) to the person whose income is one hundred thirty dollars ($130.00); $3.00 (30%) to the person whose income is one hundred forty dollars ($140.00); $2.50 ($2.50) to the person whose income is one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00); $2.00 (20%) to the person whose income is one hundred sixty dollars ($160.00); $1.50 (15%) to the person whose income is one hundred seventy dollars ($170.00); $1.00 (10%) to the person whose income is one hundred eighty dollars ($180.00); $0.50 (5%) to the person whose income is one hundred ninety dollars ($190.00); and $0.00 (0%) to those whose incomes are greater than or equal to two hundred dollars ($200.00). This example would cost the government $105.00 instead of the current $100.00. And, if you really wanted to keep it to the current $100.00, then simply make it zero percent (0%) for those whose incomes are greater than or equal to one hundred sixty dollars ($160.00) instead of greater than or equal to two hundred dollars ($200.00). Using tables similar to child support tables not only helps more people but also helps people more fairly than what the government is typically doing right now.
  • ClinicalResearch 3 months ago
    The objectives should be:1) negotiating from a point of strength for the entire country (34 million people) rather than each individual province (2-3 million individuals);2) ensuring that drug access is equitable across provinces since there is disparity right now; and3) ensuring that Canadians have access to new and innovative therapies via clinical trials (both pharmaceutical and academic-initiated trials), as Canadians are losing access to new therapies due to the lack of clinical trials (academic-initiated trials are unable to afford expensive experimental therapies and prohibitive reimbursement strategies dissuade pharmaceutical companies from introducing new products to Canada).
  • kazzie 3 months ago
    All Canadians regardless of age and state of life should be able to access prescriptions without impact on their financial circumstances or drive health decisions because they can't afford the drugs. By way of example, I am a middle income earner without a drug plan. I'm currently on a costly medication that impacts how I make financial decisions. I am now considering another intervention - surgery - so that I won't have to pay for the drug any longer. I can take the drug long term, but can't afford is, so my option is surgery, which would be covered by universal health care. Yet the drug isn't covered - but the long term costs for the drug would be cheaper than surgery. Because of cost barriers, I'm considering a health decision that will actually cost the province/territory more than that cost of drug intervention.
  • Jennie 3 months ago
    This a complex question. The objectives should be to ensure that all Canadians regardless of financial standing have pharmacare when needed. Currently a lot of employed Canadians have access to private insurance. Some contribute, some do not. Pensioners have subsidized care. When filing our taxes, we all contribute to healhcare based on income. I think a small co-pay is reasonable. From what I have heard, the cost savings on healthcare due to Canadians not being able to afford prescriptions will be greater than the cost to provide pharmacare.
  • DRED 3 months ago
    Tough question ... lots of maybes and what ifs.I am of the opinion that individuals have some responsibility for their pharmacy needs. Whether that is a co-pay model or an insurance model, I don't think that pharmacare can or should be universal ... but can be standardized across Canada. So there is need for clear definition of what a national pharmacare program is supposed to do ... free drugs for all, shared drugs with a common model, etc. It will take some convincing for me to believe there are efficiencies (as opposed to more bureaucracy), assurances of innovation and investment (as opposed to little investment due to market size), or advantages over private insurance models.The development and approval process and costs for pharmaceuticals is very expensive for the relatively small Canadian market. Some way of aligning with the US or EU approval process or accepting the approval from specific jurisdictions would help to increase access and decrease approval costs.Pharmacare needs to ensure that research, innovation and investment are nurtured. In the end, nothing is free ... anything the government funds comes from taxes in one way or another. The economic realities of increased taxation should be of real concern to Canadians.
  • Snowshore 3 months ago
    It's interesting because most people think universal coverage is what Pharmacare should strive towards but a very recent study found that current private and public programs have universal coverage for all Canadians. A lot of it is perception that there is no coverage but in reality, provinces and territories have 1st or 2nd payer insurance for those who believe they are not covered. The real issue is not the lack of coverage but the amount that is covered, which leads individuals to complain that they cannot afford it. Going towards national Pharmacare may lead to lack in efficacy and being prescribed generic drugs (e.g. generic birth control can be formulated with a significantly different amount of hormone compared to its brand name counterpart) and having to pay out of pocket for a brand product when private insurance may cover the complete cost of a branded drug. I think it's a good objective to lower costs, but with the pCPA doing negotiations, a lot of costs are reasonable in Canada due to the drug market (only 2% of global) and negotiations that are made that are lower than the listed price. Honestly, I think a national Pharmacare program needs to give options for Canadians and have a system that allows patients and providers to have a choice in the medication they take, rather than being limited to the cheapest one. It needs to also take into consideration orphan drugs (which, are expensive, but since they affect a limited population, overall is not too costly) if Canada is truly an "inclusive" country. Everything has to be done carefully because if Canadians do continue to want access to innovation in the healthcare and treatment field, the Pharmacare program needs to take that in deep consideration. Because the majority of Canadians are covered appropriately, a Pharmacare system must be sure not to tip that balance as it could potentially lead to a ripple of unexpected consequences.
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 4 Alert moderator Hide reply (1)
    • dr.tom 3 months ago
      The current coverages available are good, just not yet perfect. Perhaps it would be easier to improve the current programs. Take away the overall intent to cover only the cheapest alternative drugs and let the doctor decide which drug is best. Not let the pharmacare provider decide on a cost basis. So possibly a Federal subsidy for provincial pharmacare is a simpler option.
  • BetterHealthcareForAll 3 months ago
    I think the objectives should be: 1) comprehensive coverage for all (but within reason as some drugs have become far too expensive) 2) optimal drug pricing (better negotiations as a country vs province by province or payer by payer) 3) a fairer funding model (it should not be entirely tax-payer funded - perhaps a new employer tax that would take costs out of health benefits and into a more affordable national plan) 4) improved medication safety (better reporting of adverse events, better prescribing, patient access to their information with tools to manage OTCs, Herbals, etc.) 5) reduced use of prescription medications as a first line of care particularly for chronic conditions (i.e., better programs to education patients on how to avoid medication use, the side effects and risks, and supports to reduce dependence and inappropriate use). If we do this we would also greatly reduce the burden on the healthcare system and improve the health of all Canadians. Let's do this!
  • JJoachim74 3 months ago
    It should strive for universal coverage. No Canadian should have to make the decision of avoiding medication due to financial constraints. I personally believe a pharmacare program has lower costs by reducing outcomes associated with a lack of medication, and allows each Canadian to reach their maximum potential.