Dr. Eric Hoskins, chair of the National Pharmacare Implementation Committee, revealed an 8-page interim report today on Pharmacare implementation. Dr. Hoskins is correct when he said this morning that far too many people fall through the cracks of our health system when they cannot afford their medication.
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights knows that an alarming number of people cannot afford HIV/AIDS medication, contraceptives, medical abortion, or gender affirming medication among other urgent sexual and reproductive health needs. Every person in Canada has the right to equal access to health, including medication. We are hopeful today that our government will respond to the needs of people and not the financial interests of pharmaceutical and insurance corporations.
While the creation of a national drug agency and a national formulary is a step towards creating a universal Pharmacare strategy, today’s announcement failed to answer our most important questions. Will a national formulary cover the full scope of all drugs needed to support sexual and reproductive health choices? Will it be a universal single payer system or a patchwork system? A National Pharmacare Strategy must cover all drugs and be universal to ensure that all people, including young people and vulnerable people, can claim their right to health.