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Citizen panel calls on Ottawa to provide universal pharmacare plan

Citizen panel calls on Ottawa to provide universal pharmacare plan

pillsRepresentatives of the Citizens’ Reference Panel on Pharmacare in Canada will deliver their recommendations Tuesday to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health.

The panel, comprised of 35 people from every province and territory chosen in a randomized “civic lottery,” recommends immediate action to address the current patchwork of public and private drug plans that leaves about 20 per cent of Canadians with little or no coverage for prescription medications.

“The panellists were surprised to learn that many Canadians do not have adequate drug coverage and that Canadians on average spend considerably more for medically necessary drugs than most other countries with comparable health-care systems,” panel chairman Peter MacLeod said in a statement. 

“They believe the government should act and create a national pharmacare system that is equitable and cost-effective.”

In its report, the panel says there should be a new national formulary of medicines which would cover the full range of individual patient treatment needs, including those for rare diseases.

As a first step, members are calling on Ottawa to immediately implement public coverage for a short list of frequently prescribed drugs — such as those for treating high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma — before moving to a more comprehensive formulary. read more at