Did you know:
- Canada is the only developed country in the world with universal health care that does not cover prescription drugs. Canadians pay the second highest prices per capita for prescription drugs, after the US. And we pay the highest price for generic drugs in the world.
- Canada currently has an inefficient, unfair patchwork system. Coverage and accessibility differs depending on which province you live in, who your employer is, and what your income level is. Meanwhile, millions of working Canadians have no drug coverage at all.
- 1 in 10 Canadians (approximately 3.5 million people) cannot afford their prescription drugs. Even with workplace benefits, many Canadians struggle to pay their deductibles and their portion of the cost.
- Drugs are the second highest spending area in Canadian health care, continuing to rise over 9 per cent per year since 1985.
- New Zealand increased the use of generic drugs, created a bulk buying program and implemented a rigorous drug review process. They now pay 84 per cent less for generic drugs than Canada does. If Canada created a universal public drug plan, it would save patients, governments, and employers more than $10 billion every year.
Prescription drugs are a necessity, not a luxury. All Canadians deserve equal access. It’s as simple as that.
A National Public Drug Plan is the only way to ensure universal access to prescription drugs, safe and appropriate prescribing, and value for money for all Canadians.
Canada’s current patchwork system of private and public insurance plans is inefficient, expensive, and unfair. Here are just a few of the many reasons why:
- Private insurance coverage depends on your employer. This means more men than women, more full-time than part-time, more higher wage than lower wage workers have prescription drug coverage.
- Even with private insurance coverage, Canadians pay out of pocket for deductibles, copayments, and anything over their plan maximum.
- Administration accounts for over 20 per cent of private insurance plan costs, while in the public system, they amount to less than 2 per cent.
- Millions of working and self-employed Canadians fall through the cracks, with no workplace health benefits or drug coverage at all.
- A fragmented system does not have the negotiating and purchasing power that the federal government would have to buy drugs in bulk and negotiate dramatically lower prices.
Right now, Canadians pay far more for prescription drugs than they have to. Those who can’t afford it are splitting their pills, going deep into debt, or foregoing their prescriptions altogether. A National Public Drug Plan would lower costs, and ensure that no Canadian is left behind.
What are we waiting for?
Public solutions cost less, cover everyone, and deliver more.
No Canadian should have to choose between feeding their family and filling a prescription. Yet that is our current reality, and it’s wrong. Canadians deserve better.
We need to ask the federal government to act now.