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February 13, 2018

New study adds to mounting evidence that the Trudeau government must create a national pharmacare plan

New research confirms that difficulty affording medications remains a major problem in Canada. In 2016 alone:

  • An estimated 1.69 million Canadians did not fill prescriptions, skipped doses, or otherwise did not take medication as prescribed because of out-of-pocket costs.
  • More than 900,000 Canadians reduced their spending on basic necessities like food and heat to pay for prescription drugs.
  • An estimated 374,000 Canadians reported using extra health care services because they found medication unaffordable, including more than 300,000 people who reported visiting the doctor again and 93,000 who went to the emergency room.

The study is a peer-reviewed analysis of survey data from Statistics Canada by a team from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto.

Read the full study on the Canadian Medical Association Journal’s website.

This latest study adds to mounting evidence supporting both the cost-effectiveness and necessity of creating a national prescription drug plan.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions will continue to build on the existing evidence for a national pharmacare program with our current research project investigating the avoidable mortality arising from the cost-related non-adherence to prescription medications in Canada. This project will provide an estimate of the loss of human life associated with the high cost of prescription medication, and will be released in the spring of 2018.