By Derek Ferguson, GLR, Political Action
In February 2019, in conjunction with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), seventy-five IAMAW political action activists travelled to Ottawa to lobby Parliament on issues important to our membership including the need for a public, national pharmacare program.
On June 12, 2019, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its final report, A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All. The Advisory Council recommended that the government implement a public, single–payer, universal pharmacare program modeled after our Medicare system.
Canada is the only industrialized country with Universal Medicare that does not have universal coverage for prescription medicines.
About one third of working Canadians don’t have employer-funded prescription drug coverage, and even those with drug plans are paying ever-increasing co-payments and deductibles, but even more shameful is the fact that as many as 8.4 million Canadians (mostly women and young workers) have no prescription drug coverage at all.
A 2017 report by the Canadian Centre for Policy alternatives and Canadian Doctors for Medicare, found that a universal pharmacare program, if implemented, would save governments, the private sector and individual Canadians combined, an estimated $11 billion dollars a year. A second 2017 report released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer found that the Federal government alone would save $4.2 billion dollars a year based on the current Quebec model which is the most expensive in Canada.
The latest polls show 91 per cent of Canadians want a national pharmacare program.
It’s time to make medication available to all Canadians who need it.
In this upcoming election, please take the time to make an educated decision on which political party best aligns with your values.
Be informed and please VOTE