Canada’s federal 2024 budget has set aside $1.5 billion over five years to launch pharmacare, which will introduce national universal drug coverage to Canada.


As we reported, on February 29, 2024, the federal government tabled Bill C-64, An Act respecting pharmacare (the Pharmacare Act). The Pharmacare Act outlines the first phase of a national universal drug coverage plan in Canada. The legislation includes a commitment to first launch diabetes medication and contraceptives coverage for Canadians through a universal, single-payer system, contingent on provincial and territorial agreement.

The Pharmacare Act also provides for the preparation of a national formulary list of essential prescription drugs and the development of a national bulk purchasing strategy.

Budget 2024

As announced on April 16, 2024, Canada’s Budget 2024 sets aside $1.5 billion over five years to: (i) ensure the effective roll-out of pharmacare, and (ii) provide immediate support by covering certain diabetes medications and contraceptives. Health Canada previously published lists of particular diabetes medications and contraceptives to be discussed with the provinces and territories for coverage. 

Pharmacare status

Bill C-64 was introduced and completed its first reading in the House of Commons on February 29, 2024. The bill remains in second reading before the House.


  • Department of Finance Canada, “A Stronger Social Safety Net” (link)
  • LEGISinfo, Bill C-64 (link)