While CUPE is encouraged by a recent House of Commons committee report, we still have a lot of work to do to make Pharmacare a reality. The Standing Committee on Health (HESA) published a report that supports CUPE’s long-held belief that our governments need to do more to ensure that prescription medications are accessible to all Canadians.

Most importantly, the committee recommends that:

  • The Canada Health Act be expanded to include prescription drug coverage for all Canadians.
  • Health care providers and all levels of government work together to develop a national drug formulary to ensure that all Canadians have access to the medications they need regardless of where they live.
  • The federal government help cover the cost of a universal Pharmacare plan and consult unions and the public to identify how the plan should be funded.

Too many Canadians still can’t afford to pay for the medications they need. And, too many employers are clawing back collectively bargained drug coverage in workers’ benefit plans as the cost of prescription drugs keeps rising. Every Canadian should have equal access to the medications they need regardless of their ability to pay.

CUPE members know that the time for a universal, public Pharmacare plan that covers everyone is now. The recommendations of HESA are strong and clear: a universal Pharmacare plan will produce the most equitable economic and health outcomes for all Canadians.