Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare – Consultation with Canadians
The Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare (“Council”) is consulting with Canadians on the implementation of a national program to fund prescription drugs. The consultation is open until September 28, 2018.
The Council, which reports to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance, was created following an announcement in the 2018-2019 federal budget (reported here).
Canadians can provide their views on national pharmacare through various means, including: (i) an online questionnaire; (ii) by providing written submissions to the Council; and (iii) by engaging in the discussion through an online discussion forum.
To guide the consultation, the Council has published a discussion paper entitled Towards Implementation of National Pharmacare. In the paper, the Council has identified the following key issues for consideration and questions for discussion:
- Issue: Who will be covered and under what circumstances
- Who should be covered under national pharmacare?
- How should national pharmacare be delivered?
- Issue: Which drugs will get coverage
- Which drugs should be covered as part of a national pharmacare plan?
- How much variability across different drug plans or jurisdictions should there be in the list of drugs covered by national pharmacare?
- Issue: Who pays
- Should patients pay a portion of the cost of prescription drugs at the pharmacy (e.g., co-payments or deductibles)?
- Should employers, who currently play a significant role in funding drug coverage for their employees, continue to do so (either through contributions to a private plan or through a public plan)?