The Federal government tabled the 2018-2019 budget on February 27, 2018, which included an announcement of steps toward the creation of a national pharmacare program to cover the reimbursement of certain prescription medications.
The government will create an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare, with the goal of starting a national dialogue on pricing and reimbursement of prescription medications. The Advisory Council will undertake a social and economic assessment of domestic and international pricing and reimbursement models, and work with experts in the relevant fields and with national, provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders to provide recommendations to the Federal government on how to move forward on this subject.
The Advisory Council – to be chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins, who recently served as the Minister of Health for Ontario – is scheduled to provide a report in the spring of 2019. The government has indicated that this timing will allow national pharmacare to become a focus for the 2019 Federal election.