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March 6, 2019

With a promising interim report, it’s time to focus on implementing universal pharmacare

Media Release
Pharmacare
MEDIA RELEASE

With a promising interim report, it’s time to focus on implementing universal pharmacare

March 6, 2019 (OTTAWA) – Canada’s nurses are optimistic about the interim report released today by the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (ACINP). The report recommended the creation of a national drug agency, a comprehensive evidence-based formulary, and outlined six core principles for national pharmacare.

“This is a promising day for people in Canada, who have waited a long time for pharmacare,” said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “The creation of a national formulary and drug agency are important steps in the right direction towards addressing the increasing costs of prescription medications and ensuring access for all.”

“From what we’ve seen today, we are optimistic that the final report will be on the same wavelength as Canadians, who clearly want a single, universal pharmacare program, not a patchwork system,” Silas added.

Recent public opinion polling conducted by Environics and commissioned by the CFNU found that 84% of Canadians support public universal coverage of prescription drugs, like doctors and hospitals. The same polling found that Canadians do not believe the interests of pharmaceutical and insurance companies should influence policy decisions on health care.

“The interim report outlines some of the fundamentals needed to build an effective single-payer universal pharmacare program,” said Silas. “While we are still waiting for some very important details in the final report, it’s clear that Dr. Hoskins’s Advisory Council is heading in the right direction.”

For over 20 years, Canada’s nurses have advocated for national pharmacare. The CFNU is a signatory to the Pharmacare Consensus Principles document endorsed by more than 80 national, provincial and territorial organizations, which outlines five principles for a smart and effective pharmacare program for Canada.

“While optimistic, Canada’s nurses will be watching very closely to see the content of the final report,” said Silas. “The government cannot disappoint us. What is needed now is the political will to deliver a pharmacare program for everyone in Canada for generations to come.”

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The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization, representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

For more information, please contact:
Lauren Snowball, CFNU Communications Officer, 613-868-5702, lsnowball (at) nursesunons.ca