Every day, someone in Canada dies because they can’t afford medication. Drug samples and emergency room visits aren’t a solution – we need universal pharmacare now.
COVID-19 has exposed many weaknesses in our health care system, including a lack of universal prescription drug coverage. With 1 in 5 Canadian households unable to afford their medications before the pandemic, millions more are now without private drug plans covered through the job they recently lost. Universal pharmacare would ensure access for all, while saving our system billions of dollars every year. Learn more about the need for pharmacare by reading the CFNU’s pharmacare factsheet.
Since 1991, the CFNU has called on federal and provincial governments to work together to build a national prescription drug program for everyone in Canada. Over three decades, we have conducted and published ground-breaking research, met regularly with parliamentarians, and presented before parliamentary committees and premiers’ summits on the need for pharmacare.
In 2019, the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its final report confirming that a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare system is the best option for Canada. The CFNU joined more than 175 national, provincial and territorial organizations calling for Pharmacare Now, based on the the Council’s recommendations and our pharmacare Consensus Principles.
In a minority parliament where three major parties – including the governing party – support universal public pharmacare, we’re closer than ever to getting drug coverage for all. But since the pandemic began, the government has remained largely silent on this issue.
No one should be forced to choose between filling their prescriptions and feeding their family – especially under the vulnerable circumstances of a global pandemic. Canada can do better. Act now and urge our government to get to work on implementing universal public pharmacare!