Pharmacare report a prescription for success

Speedy implementation of recommendations will improve health and reduce costs

(Ottawa) — Heart & Stroke applauds the report released today by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Chair of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The recommendations will ensure access to medically necessary drugs and result in overall cost savings within the health system, for people living in Canada and their employers. 

“We are very pleased with the report from the Advisory Council. A universal pharmacare program with the public payer as the first payer will allow for ultimate drug purchasing power and result in reduced drug prices and lower administrative costs. We urge the government to act swiftly and implement these recommendations.” says Yves Savoie, CEO of Heart & Stroke.

Currently at least 7.5 million people in Canada are uninsured or underinsured. Some people face greater barriers accessing medications including women, Indigenous people, younger people and part-time workers.

“Unfortunately, I routinely see patients who are unable to afford their medications,” said Dr. Paula Harvey, Director, Cardiovascular Research Program, Women’s College Hospital. “I recently had to admit a woman to hospital who would not have needed our care if she had been able to take her medications as prescribed. We could not understand why she was so seriously ill until she finally admitted she was not taking her drugs. She was ashamed that she couldn’t afford them and so had hidden that from us. That happens all too frequently.”

Canada is the only developed country with a universal health care system that does not provide universal coverage for prescription drugs and our multi-payer system with our patchwork of 100 public and more than 100,000 private plans, is among the most expensive in the world.  

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.

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Joshua Terry, Communications Manager (Ontario)
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