Universal pharmacare would pay big dividends

Letter to the Editor

Last updated on May 18, 23

Posted on May 18, 23

1 min read

To the Editor,

Imagine worrying about affording the meds you or your child needs.

More than three million Canadians can’t afford prescription meds. Twenty per cent of families, more than half with insurance, must choose between food and meds because their insurance doesn’t cover new meds, pre-existing conditions, or medical supplies.

Canada, with the third highest medication costs in the world, is the only nation with universal healthcare that doesn’t offer universal pharmacare. We pay so much because 100,000 private plans and a hundred public programs limit our collective bargaining power. Canada could save between $5.5 and $11 billion by bargaining as a single buyer for all of us.

Imagine how those savings could be used to bolster our floundering public healthcare or to invest in clean energy. We (people and employers) would save all costs of private insurance.

Current indications are the federal government envisions a phased in, patchwork approach, providing support to uninsured children, then youth, then elderly. By 2027, people will still be suffering while we still pay huge profits to private insurers and Big Pharma.

Tell your MP that universal pharmacare ASAP would be good for the nation, for the economy, for our public healthcare, and for everyone who needs prescription medications.

Marilyn Hay

Chair, KW Chapter,
Council of Canadians

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