Senators Should Move Quickly to Pass Pharmacare Legislation

Senators Should Move Quickly to Pass Pharmacare Legislation

EDMONTON — Friends of Medicare is calling on members of the Senate to support the timely passing of Bill C-64: An Act Respecting Pharmacare before the summer break, so that the government may quickly move forward with implementation of a national Pharmacare plan, which will include universal, single-payer coverage of contraceptives and diabetes medication and equipment.

After years of studies, debates and delays, we were excited to see the House of Commons move quickly to pass Bill C-64 and send it to the Senate in time to pass it before the summer break,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “It’s now in the Senate’s hands. We are calling on Senators to act with urgency to pass Bill C-64, so that the government can finally begin to move forward with laying the groundwork for the most significant expansion to our public health care system since the creation of national Medicare over fifty years ago.”

At a time when Canadians are experiencing a deep affordability crisis, any further delays to this crucial program are untenable. The facts are clear. Canadians currently pay among the highest drug costs in the world. One in five Albertans do not have drug coverage, and a quarter of Alberta households aren't able to pay for the medications they need. This is particularly true for Albertans living with diabetes, where coverage is not universal or first dollar.

“Every day we hear from Albertans who simply cannot afford their needed medications. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Gallaway. "This is a historic opportunity to take us one step closer to ensuring that no one has to suffer avoidable health and financial ramifications because of cost-related barriers to accessing the drugs they need. The time for action is now”

Albertans have consistently made it clear they support universal, single-payer Pharmacare. Tens of thousands wrote to their MPs to get Bill C-64 passed, and polling consistently shows that the vast majority of Albertans support a national prescription drug plan, including universal contraceptive coverage.

“Albertans have been clear that we want Pharmacare. In fact, we need it. We hope Alberta’s Senators will listen to the voices of those which they are appointed to represent in the Senate, and move this crucial legislation forward as quickly as possible,” concluded Gallaway.

Friends of Medicare encourages Albertans to show their support for Pharmacare by sending a message to Alberta’s Senators urging them to get Bill C-64 passed before summer.

- 30 -

➤ Join our email list to receive news like this in your inbox
➤ Support Friends of Medicare's work