A coalition comprised of dozens of federal and provincial health-care organizations, including providers, patient groups, academics, health practitioner unions and professional associations, have teamed up to create a set of principles for national pharmacare in Canada.

First, the coaltion believes pharmacare should work as a clear extension of Canada’s current universal health-care system, bringing pharmaceutical services in line with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

Coverage for Canadians should be universal, on equal terms and conditions for everyone, according to the coalition. It should also be public and administered as a single-payer system, which will maximize its purchasing power as it will be integrated with the various systems currently in operation.

Read: A primer on the parliamentary report on pharmacare

As well, the care should be accessible, without financial barriers or other impediments, the coalition stated. Care should also be comprehensive, covering the maximum number of medications judged safe and effective by scientific evidence, with an eye towards the best value for money. As well, those tasked with selecting the suite of available drugs should be free from political or marketing pressures and biases.

Coverage should be portable, noted the coalition, so that people moving within Canada won’t be affected by a change in coverage.

Further to these principles, the coalition suggested the federal government lead the way to a national system, which would include serious funding commitments, enough so that provincial and territorial governments will be attracted to the program and join it.

Read: How NAFTA negotiations could affect drug prices, pharmacare

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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