Alberta Pharmacare Working Group Optimistic About Advisory Council's Interim Report
Edmonton - The Alberta Pharmacare Working Group is encouraged following today’s release of the Advisory Council for the Implementation of National Pharmacare’s interim report. Its initial recommendations outline six core principles for national pharmacare, and call for: the creation of a national drug agency; a comprehensive, evidence-based national drug formulary; and, investment in drug data and information technology.
The Alberta Pharmacare Working Group, which is comprised of a coalition of seniors’, labour and advocacy organizations, has been active in engaging with Albertans, lobbying MPs, mailing letters to federal representatives, and collecting petition signatures to advocate for a national, universal, public drug program for all Canadians. Today’s report marks an encouraging first step towards the development of our national pharmacare program, and we are hopeful that the recommendations and principles outlined indicate that the Council will be recommending a universal, single-payer, accessible, comprehensive and portable model when their final report is released this spring.
"Pharmacare is the unfinished business of our Medicare,” stated Judy Lederer, President of the Edmonton Area Council of the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada. “Canadians have been calling for national prescription drug coverage for decades, and we have waited long enough. Now is the time!"
The report follows extensive consultations, including 150 written submissions and over 15,000 responses to an online questionnaire, in which Canadians made clear that our current patchwork of public and private drug plans is insufficient. 1 in 4 Canadian households, and 21 percent of households in Alberta are unable to afford their prescribed medications. “Medications should not be a luxury, and no Canadians should have to choose between food and heat or paying for their prescriptions,” said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.
As we await the final blueprint that will guide the implementation of our national pharmacare program, the Alberta Pharmacare Working Group will be continuing to campaign for a plan that meets the needs of all Canadians. “Today marks a positive interim report on pharmacare,” said Heather Erlen, Alberta Representative of the Canadian Labour Congress. “The time is now to keep the pressure on - to ensure a truly universal, single-payer, comprehensive system for Canada.”
Members of the Alberta Pharmacare Working Group:
Alberta Federation of Union Retirees (AFUR)
Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
Canadian Health Coalition (CHC)
Council of Canadians, Edmonton, Prairies and North West Territories (COC)
Edmonton & District Labour Council (EDLC)
Friends of Medicare (FOM)
Non-Academic Staff Association of the University of Alberta (NASA)
Public Interest Alberta (PIA)
Seniors United Now (SUN)
Seniors United Now (SUN)
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