Liberal government must move forward on pharmacare, say doctors, nurses and advocates

Canadian Doctors for Medicare, along with the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and a number of allied civil society organizations and public health care experts, are calling on the Liberal government to fulfill its commitment to implementing a universal pharmacare plan by including it in the upcoming Fiscal Update and Budget 2022. 

CDM's Chair Dr. Melanie Bechard signed on to a letter written to Prime Minister Trudeau along with the Ministers of Finance and Health, and Treasury Board of Canada President calling on them to take immediate steps to introduce a national, universal single-payer, public pharmacare program, as recommended by its own Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (ACINP).

The letter opens by stating that "in a few weeks’ time, we will have reached the first major milestone of the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare’s recommendations timeline. According to the Advisory Council’s recommendations, by January 1, 2022, universal coverage for a list of essential medicines should be in place as the first part of a national, universal, single-payer, public pharmacare program." 

Rather than marking this important milestone, January 1, 2022 will instead mark another year gone by where millions of Canadians have struggled to access the medications they need. 

The Economic and Fiscal Update and Budget 2022 are important opportunities for the Liberal government to demonstrate in a concrete way that they intend to keep their promise on pharmacare. To do this, we will need to see a commitment of at least $3.5 billion for essential medications coverage in order to follow through on the recommendations of the ACINP.

Canadian Doctors for Medicare has long fought for universal public pharmacare, which the evidence has shown to be the most efficient and equitable means of ensuring that patients and families can access the medications they need. To read our primer on why pharmacare matters to Canadians, click here

Canadian Doctors for Medicare provides a voice for Canadian doctors, residents and medical students who want to strengthen and improve Canada's universal publicly-funded health care system. CDM advocates for innovations in treatment and prevention services that are evidence-based and improve access, quality, equity and sustainability.

For more information or to request an interview with a representative of CDM please contact CDM’s Executive Director Katie Arnup at 647-289-5205 or [email protected]

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