Letter to Minister Morneau regarding pharmacare

PAN’s voice has joined over 150 national and provincial organizations co-signing a letter to Minister Morneau asking for the necessary commitments for pharmacare in this year’s federal budget.

The letter reads in part:

We are a diverse coalition of 150 national and provincial organizations representing health
care providers, non-profit organizations, unions, workers, business, seniors and patients
from coast to coast to coast. In November 2019, over 150 of our organizations signed a joint
Pharmacare Now Statement calling on all parties to work together to implement universal,
public pharmacare within this government’s mandate. We are now calling on your
government to make the financial commitments that are needed in this year’s budget to
make this program a reality.

In the federal budget for 2019, the government provided $35 million over four years to
establish a Canadian Drug Agency Transition Office. It also provided $1 billion over two
years (starting in 2022–23) to develop a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare
diseases, with up to $500 million per year ongoing.

As laid out in the report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National
Pharmacare, an additional $3.5 billion is needed by 2022 to roll out the first stage of
universal, public pharmacare. This stage would provide access to a national formulary of
essential medicines by January 2022. Incremental increases in annual spending would
subsequently be required to roll out a full, comprehensive formulary by January 2027.

The majority of Canadians voted for pharmacare in the 2019 election. We are counting on
your government to fulfill its promise to Canadians by implementing the Advisory Council’s
recommendations. Universal, public pharmacare would improve the health of our population
and would save Canadians billions of dollars every year. Canada can’t afford not to adopt
this program.

In this year’s budget, we hope to see the necessary minimum commitment of $3.5 billion in
total for pharmacare between 2020 and 2022, as well as maintained funding for a rare
diseases strategy. Anything less would put us behind schedule for implementing this
essential new program.

We thank your government for its commitment to universal pharmacare. Only single-payer,
public pharmacare will ensure everyone in Canada can access the medications they need.


The Pharmacare Now Coalition

We will post updates to this as they become available.

Read letter in full.