With an eye toward dismantling the barriers many Canadians face in accessing prescription drugs, the federal government is launching an online consultation process on national pharmacare.

The government’s advisory council, introduced in the 2018 budget, is accepting views through an online questionnaire and written submissions. As well, the online platform will include a discussion forum.

“Hearing directly from Canadians will be critical as we work to find the best path forward to a national pharmacare plan,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, chair of the advisory council, in a press release. “I invite each and every Canadian to participate in the consultation process by sharing your vision of pharmacare and letting us know how it could work to the benefit of all Canadians.”

Read: Budget confirms new advisory council on implementation of national pharmacare

Following the consultation, which will close on Sept. 28, 2018, the information gathered will formulate the council’s spring 2019 report to the federal government on how to implement a national pharmacare program.

“I encourage all Canadians to participate in this consultation. Their views and feedback will inform the council’s recommendations in support of better access to prescription medication for Canadians,” said Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in the release.

In addition to the online discussion, the council will also be seeking feedback from provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders, as well as with patients and other stakeholders throughout Canada.

“We are committed to making prescription medications more accessible and more affordable, so that all Canadians are able to get the medicines they need,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau. “The ideas and insights people share during this important consultation will help us deliver a national pharmacare program that works for Canada, and for Canadians.”

Read: Should employers share potential tax burden for pharmacare?

Copyright © 2021 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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James R Mayor:

A national pharmacare system is very much needed. It should be the same across all of Canada. It should be paid for out of our income taxes.

Friday, July 20 at 12:18 pm | Reply

Barry Grossman:

If Pharmacare is implemented it should be done like it is here in Quebec and be integrated with the group plan market. In Quebec first payor is the group plan until age 65; all residents not on a group plan must enroll on the provincial plan. By law all ‘eligible’ employees must enroll on a group plan at their employment including their spouses and children. it isn’t perfect but has worked very well here in Quebec with everyone covered well for drugs.
I understand some of the proposals are for a complete public system and too carve drug care out of all group plans. I believe that would not be a good thing; the government does not usually manage best.

Monday, July 30 at 3:46 pm | Reply

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