Implement a National Pharmacare Plan

Addendum to Sept 6 2018 Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

In 1997, the Liberal Party of Canada promised Canadians that it would work towards “(…) a timetable and fiscal framework for the implementation of universal public coverage for medically necessary prescription drugs” (p.8)[i]. Twenty-one years have passed, and despite the fact that pharmacare is touted as sound health and economic policy, your government has only committed to studying the issue further. Canadians need action.

Canada is the only developed country in the world with a universal healthcare program that doesn’t include a universal prescription drug plan. In our country, we cover the cost to diagnose an ailment, but all-to-often not the cost to treat it. The absence of coverage for essential medications runs contrary to the value of universality underpinning our entire healthcare system. Canadians should not have to choose between paying their rent or purchasing their medication.

A national pharmacare plan would make life better for so many people living in Saskatoon West, including seniors, people on fixed incomes, single parents, women, people working low-wage jobs, and those living with disabilities, to name a few. It would also save Canada billions of dollars.

Mr. Prime Minister, a letter was sent to you in July 2018, expressing support for the Saskatoon Community Clinic’s recommendations that a public, universal, single-payer national pharmacare plan be implemented in our country, without delay. Implementation does not require further study, and we must act now to make pharmacare a reality.

July 2018 letter to Justin Trudeau.

[i] Liberal Party of Canada, (1997). Securing Our Future: Preparing Canada for the 21st Century. (p. 8)