PHARMACARE: THE NEXT BIG SOCIAL PROGRAM?
WHEN PRIME MINISTER Justin Trudeau announced in an interview with Zoomer magazine (October 2018) that a national pharmacare plan was “coming,” he touched off speculation that the Liberals would offer it as a big-ticket item in their platform for the 2019 federal election. In an effort to shape this drug plan, CARP has joined with more than 70 national, provincial and territorial organizations (representing health-care providers, non-profit organizations, workers, seniors, patients and academics) in coming to a consensus about the principles that must underpin a national pharmacare program in the country. The Pharmacare Consensus Principle states that any national drug plan must be governed by the following values: universality; public, single-payer administration; accessibility; comprehensiveness; portable coverage. “A universal, single-payer pharmacare program will not only ensure all Canadians have access to the medications they need,” says Wanda Morris, CARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer, “it will provide billions of dollars in net savings to businesses, individuals and the government.”