Pharmacists Calling For Universal Drug Coverage For All Canadians

Canadian Pharmacists Association Chair, Alistair Bursey says 10% to 15% of Canadians currently have either no insurance or insufficient insurance to afford their medications.

Pharmacists across the country are calling for full population drug coverage and enhanced care. The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPS) presented a plan, it says will allow governments to provide universal drug coverage to all Canadians, ensuring access to medications and improved patient outcomes. Association Chair, Alistair Bursey says 10% to 15% of Canadians currently have either no insurance or insufficient insurance to afford their medications. He says that's unacceptable in a country like Canada. The CPA wants governments to commit to a PharmAccord, which would provide full drug coverage to Canadians, harmonize catastrophic drug coverage, develop a minimum comprehensive national drug formulary, ensure the drug system is both affordable and sustainable, and make greater use of the experience and knowledge of pharmacists to provide better care to patients, at a lower cost to government. The federal government recently agreed to a health accord that provides investments for provinces and territories to improve health outcomes for Canadians in specific areas. Pharmacists believe the next accord should provide federal investments to support better drug coverage for Canadians while recognizing the unique needs of Canadians in every province and territory. - Pat Siedlecki with files from CPA

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