The Canadian Pharmacists Association is calling for a universal national pharmacare plan that blends public and private plans, according to a press release.

The call is part of the professional association’s 2021 federal election priorities for all parties and candidates. Canadians go to the polls on Sept. 21 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has put health-care-related issues in the spotlight.

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In its 2019 budget, the federal government said it would work with partners to move forward on a national pharmacare program, including the creation of a new national drug agency and formulary, as well as a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.

While these measures were further discussed in the government’s 2020 fall economic statement, a universal national pharmacare program wasn’t included in the 2021 federal budget. Instead, the government reiterated it would proceed with funding the previously announced high-cost drug program and would directly engage with willing partners on pharmacare.

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