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September 18, 2023

Passing pharmacare legislation must be top priority for returning parliamentarians

Media Release

Silas: Canadians want pharmacare, but we need the full dose.

September 18, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) along with allied health and labour organizations are calling on the federal government to ensure its impending pharmacare legislation works to establish a universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare program. This recommendation echoes the stance of the government’s own advisory council, and the legislation is a key feature in the Liberal and NDP confidence and supply agreement.

“Canadians want pharmacare, but we need the full dose,” explains CFNU President Linda Silas. “Industry proposals around ‘filling-the-gaps’ fail to address the spiraling costs of prescription medication and don’t provide Canadians with the equal coverage they deserve.

The expansion of publicly funded health care to encompass prescription medicines is overwhelmingly supported by the Canadian public. Recent public opinion polling by the CFNU shows that 87 percent of Canadians support a universal pharmacare program that provides equal access for all Canadians.

“Introducing public pharmacare now would be a welcome affordability measure for Canadians suffering under the strain of rising prices,” says Silas. “As nurses we know the importance of affordable prescription medication to the health and well-being of our patients. Parliamentarians – you have a chance to make history this fall, so let’s get to it and get it right.”

In a concerted effort to drive this vital message home, the group of organizations has launched a high-impact campaign with placements in respected publications, including The Hill Times, iPolitics and National Newswatch, among others.


The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing 250,000 frontline unionized nurses and nursing students in every sector of health care – from home care and LTC to community and acute care – and advocating on key priorities to strengthen public health care across the country.

For more information please contact Adella Khan, CFNU Communications,, 613‑807-2942.