The federal government has announced the appointment of the remaining members of its advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare.

Besides former Ontario health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins, who’s the chair of the advisory council, the members are:

  • Mia Homsy, director general of the Institut du Québec, who will serve as vice-chair of the council;
  • Dr. Nadine Caron, an associate professor in the University of British Columbia’s department of surgery;
  • Vincent Dumez, co-director of the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public at the University of Montreal’s faculty of medicine;
  • Camille Orridge, a senior fellow at the Wellesley Institute;
  • Diana Whalen, former deputy premier and finance minister of Nova Scotia; and
  • John Wright, former deputy health minister and deputy finance minister for the Saskatchewan government and former president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

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

The council will conduct an assessment of domestic and international pharmacare models from a fiscal, economic and social standpoint, according to a news release. It will also consult with Canadians on their views on pharmacare.

“Today, the government of Canada is taking an important step toward ensuring that all Canadians can afford the prescription drugs they need,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the release.

“I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the advisory council and to working with our partners to deliver a national pharmacare program that works for all Canadians.”

People will also be able to engage with the council over the coming weeks through written submissions and an online questionnaire. The results will inform the council’s interim report, which it’s to deliver later in 2018. The advisory council is to produce a final report on how to proceed with implementing national pharmacare next spring.

Read: National pharmacare the wrong solution: think-tank

“I wish to thank the members of the advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare for undertaking this very important task on behalf of Canadians,” said Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

“Improving access to prescription medications will help Canadians — especially those with no prescription drug coverage — to stay healthy. The work of the advisory council will be fundamental to ensuring that Canadians have access to the drug therapies they need at an affordable cost.”

Stephen Frank, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, noted in a press release that Canada’s life and health insurers are ready to work with the advisory council and said the organization is eager to participate in the consultations.

“The advisory council’s work is important to help improve our current system so that it works better for all Canadians,” he said.

Read: Commons committee recommends national pharmacare program

“Smart reform will ensure that patients have access to the medicines they need at affordable prices, that strong workplace health benefit plans are protected and that tax dollars are used wisely.”

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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