Call For Universal Drug Plan at Health Ministers Meeting
By A Correspondent
New Democrats are calling for a universal prescription drugs plan to be included in a new Health Accord. One in four Canadian families can't afford to take medications the way their doctor prescribed.
“Canada is the only country in the world with universal healthcare that does not provide universal prescription drug coverage,” said NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver-Kingsway). "Excluding drug coverage means higher healthcare costs in the long run as health conditions of patients worsen. If the Liberals want to deliver real change for Canadians, they should include a pharmacare plan in the new Health Accord.”
"The announcement on bulk buying is a step in the right direction," said Davies. "But it does not address the real issue: the need for universal pharmaceutical coverage for every Canadian."
Prescription drug prices in Canada are dramatically higher than in most other developed countries, with the result that over 2 million Canadians spend more than $1,000 out of pocket each year on prescription drugs. Action on the recommendations of visionary leaders such as Tommy Douglas and Roy Romanow – who called for Medicare to include prescription drug coverage – is long overdue.
“The NDP will continue to push for a better health care system and a strong health accord—with commitments to improve home care, create more community health centres, accelerate innovation and ensure proper federal funding,” added Davies.