Health and labour groups aligned in push for universal access to prescription drugs
February 16, 2021 – Ottawa, ON – Heart & Stroke, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) have teamed up to raise the urgency of a national pharmacare plan. The groups have launched a campaign calling on Canadians to tell the federal government that Canada deserves #PharmacareNow.
Heart & Stroke, CLC and CFNU are working together for the first time around a shared commitment to ensuring everyone in Canada can get the medication they need through a national, universal, public single-payer pharmacare program.
“Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal pharmacare, leaving 7.5 million Canadians with insufficient or no drug coverage,” says Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “We know that some groups are more affected than others – including racialized Canadians and women. Many people are forced to make difficult decisions by cutting spending on food and heat to pay for the prescriptions their families need for their health.”
Through the online campaign at heartandstroke.ca/pharmacare Canadians can send a letter to the federal government urging it to take immediate action on its commitment to implementing national, universal pharmacare. This includes allocating sufficient funding in the coming 2021 Federal Budget and implementing an initial common formulary of essential medicines by July 1, 2021.
“COVID-19 has resulted in more people losing their jobs and consequently losing their benefits. In fact Canadians are twice as likely to have lost prescription drug coverage as to have gained it over the past year,” says Hassan Yussuff, President, Canadian Labour Congress. “Now more than ever, Canada needs universal single-payer pharmacare.”
“Support for pharmacare is strong. Over 90% of Canadians feel it is important for everyone to have equal access to prescription drugs, the federal government’s own expert advisory council recommended a universal, public, single-payer program, and the government has committed to it. We need action now,” says Linda Silas, President, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions.
To take action and tell the federal government Canada deserves #PharmacareNow go to heartandstroke.ca/pharmacare.
About Heart & Stroke
Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why we need to beat inequity and Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy.
About Canadian Labour Congress
The Canadian Labour Congress is the largest labour organization in Canada, bringing together dozens of national and international unions, provincial and territorial federations of labour and community-based labour councils to represent more than three million workers across the country.
About Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing about 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in public health care.
Heart & Stroke
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Canadian Labour Congress