December 8, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, along with numerous civil society organizations, is calling on the Liberal government to fulfill previous commitments to introduce a universal pharmacare program by including it in the Economic and Fiscal Update and in the 2022 Federal Budget.
The CFNU has co-written a letter, signed by several labour, health and advocacy organizations, calling on the Prime Minister, Ministers of Finance and Health, and Treasury Board of Canada President to introduce a national, universal single-payer, public pharmacare program, as recommended by its own Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.
“It’s time for the federal government to stop putting the profits of big pharma and insurance companies before the millions of Canadians who struggle to afford the drugs they need,” said Linda Silas, president of the CFNU.
The call comes in advance of a milestone date – January 1, 2022 – set by the Advisory Council in its exhaustive report as the target for rolling out universal coverage for a list of essential medicines, to be later expanded to a comprehensive formulary.
“With our health care under unprecedented strain, there has never been a more pressing time to ensure everyone in Canada has access to prescription medications that can keep them out of our hospitals and living healthier lives,” said Silas.
The CFNU has advocated for universal, single-payer pharmacare for decades, citing extensive evidence that such a program will expand access to medicines, improve health outcomes, and save our prescription drug system billions of dollars.
“I urge Prime Minister Trudeau to put people’s health before corporate mega-profits, or our economy and social fabric will continue to suffer – as the pandemic has made painfully clear,” concluded Silas.
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