Canadian advisory council calls for universal public drug coverage
The council said a national drug agency should be created first, with coverage for essential medicines in place by January 1, 2022.
OTTAWA: A Canadian advisory council studying prescription drug coverage said on Wednesday the federal government should create a universal, single-payer public pharma care system and warned the current framework requires significant reforms.
The seven-person advisory council, headed by former Liberal Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, said the full single-payer system should be implemented no later than January 1, 2027. The council said a national drug agency should be created first, with coverage for essential medicines in place by January 1, 2022.
Canada is the only country in the world with a universal health care system that does not include universal coverage for prescription drugs.
Most prescriptions here are paid for through employer-funded drug plans, while some are covered by government programs for the elderly, or people with low incomes or very high costs.