Finance Minister Bill Morneau has shared more about why he supports Ottawa's new
Pharmacare program, which was announced during the 2018 budget release. Minister Morneau said the government’s
goal is to ensure all Canadians have access to pharmaceuticals, and currently about
1 million Canadians cannot afford prescription drugs. Closing this gap is the
stated aim of this proposed federal program.
budget revealed the government’s plan to make national Pharmacare a reality
with the creation of an advisory council led by Eric Hoskins, M.D., D.Phil., M.S., who resigned
his post as Ontario’s health minister to take on the new role.
did not realize that Canadians pay among the highest prices for prescription
drugs in the world. Canada is also the only country with universal health care
that does not include prescription drugs. Government-run plans cover about 40–45%
of Canadians and are for the most part only available to seniors, Ontarians
under 25, otherwise uninsured Quebecers, welfare recipients, Indigenous people
and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Armed Forces. A
smaller population, including many self-employed, pay out of pocket for their
Hoskins, speaking at the Economic Club of Canada, stated that he will consult
with stakeholders and make recommendations to government on how to proceed with
a national plan. He also said this will take time, as the newly formed council
will need to carefully study the issue since the workforce and cost of
pharmaceuticals have changed dramatically in the last two decades.