Canadians are rightly proud of our universal health care program. It enables everyone to get the care they need, regardless of their employment status or economic circumstance. But Canada is the only developed country in the world with a universal health care program that does not include a universal prescription drug plan. As a result, more than three million Canadians cannot afford to fill their prescriptions.
The Canadian Labour Congress has been calling on the federal government to implement a national pharmacare program. This would eliminate the inequities of our existing patchwork system, giving all Canadians access to the drugs they need. It would also save governments billions of dollars, as our bulk purchasing power would improve our ability to negotiate with drug companies.
In its recent budget, the federal government announced the creation of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. But we need to keep up the pressure to ensure that a comprehensive, universal program is developed as soon as possible.
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