Many Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs


Many Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs


Mar. 08, 2019

Global Korean Post


Canadians face some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world.


The existing patchwork of prescription drug coverage is leading to poorer health for some and higher costs for all Canadians.


Analysis of the 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey found that approximately 1 million Canadians have to choose between food and heat or a needed prescription.


Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, announced that the Government has received an interim report from the Council, chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins.


The report identifies three initial recommendations for the implementation of national pharmacare:

  • Creating a national drug agency to oversee national pharmacare;
  • Developing a comprehensive, evidence-based list of prescribed drugs – a national formulary – to harmonize coverage across Canada; and
  • Investing in data on prescription drugs and information technology systems.


The Government of Canada will consider the Council’s initial recommendations while it awaits the final report, which is due in spring 2019.


The Council received more than 150 written submissions from organizations and individuals, and more than 15,000 responses to its online questionnaire.

During its public engagement, the Council heard repeatedly about the serious, often life-threatening consequences of Canadians not being able to afford needed prescription medicines.



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