PHARMACARE: Will Ontario lead to national program?

PHARMACARE: Will Ontario lead to national program?

Postby Oscar » Mon May 01, 2017 4:54 pm


Join with the thousands who have already sent this letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott calling on them to take immediate action on pharmacare.
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Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter hopes pharmacare in Ontario will lead to national pharmacare

[ ... pharmacare ]

May 1, 2017 - 8:30 am

The Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter wants the Trudeau government to take action on pharmacare.

Chapter activist Roy Brady, who is also the chairperson of the Peterborough Health Coalition, comments to Peterborough This Week: "The budget does take some positive steps, such as with OHIP+, he notes. 'I like the fact they’re moving forward with pharmacare', he says. The next step Brady wants is for the federal government to get involved and roll out universal drug plans for all Canadians, and OHIP+ is the first step toward that."

The Ontario government of Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a provincial pharmacare plan in their budget on April 27.

The Globe and Mail notes, "From doctors to pharmacists to drug makers, nearly everyone in the Canadian health-care world is lauding the Ontario government for its plan to provide free prescription drugs to children and youth, beginning Jan.1. ...If there is any complaint among front-line providers, it is that the Liberal program does not go far enough toward providing universal access to prescription drugs for everyone. Premier Wynne said Friday [April 28] that she hopes Ontario’s move will prod the federal government and other provinces to work together on a national pharmacare strategy, but that is a call the Trudeau government has so far declined to answer."

The CBC adds, "The Liberal drug plan ... would only cover people age 24 and under, yet would cover some 4,400 medications — every prescription drug covered by the existing Ontario Drug Benefit Plan for seniors and people with lower incomes."

And another CBC article notes, "[Advocates of universal pharmacare] are hoping the provincial move will galvanize Ottawa to commit to creating a pharmacare program for all Canadians. Doris Grinspun, head of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, said Thursday's provincial budget announcement 'absolutely puts pressure' on the prime minister. ...Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, [says], 'Pharmacare is right at the top of the public agenda in terms of health care reform. This hopefully will catapult it over the fence and really start to make it a living reality as we move into the next mandate of whichever federal government we have.'"

The Council of Canadians is mobilizing for a day of action in support of pharmacare on May 27 (with meetings with MPs already scheduled on either side of that date).

So far, 11 Council of Canadians chapters have expressed their interest in participating in that day of action. Those chapters are: Peterborough-Kawarthas, Hamilton, Peel Region, Thunder Bay, Kitchener-Waterloo, Vancouver-Burnaby, Comox Valley, Kamloops, Quill Plains (Wynyard), Winnipeg, and Prince Edward Island.

The House of Commons will begin its summer recess on June 12 and return on September 18 with its fall legislative agenda. Furthermore, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health is studying the idea of pharmacare and is expected to release their report with recommendations at some point this fall. The meetings with MPs on May 27 are intended to feed into all of this.

To assist with this, the Council of Canadians has produced this (April 2017) 36-page report [ ... e-0417.pdf ] (plus a 4-page executive summary [ ... y-0417.pdf ] ), a tips on lobbying your Member of Parliament fact sheet [ ... e-tips.pdf ], a facts and figures fact sheet [ ... -facts.pdf ], a sample letter to the editor [ ... etters.pdf ], and this brochure [ ... ochure.pdf ].

We are also producing a 4-minute handimation video that will be available for sharing in the coming weeks.

And we have commissioned a new poll to determine the level of support for pharmacare among Liberal voters (the survey will be conducted by the polling firm Environics Research Group this week).

In the meantime, you can join with the thousands who have already sent this letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Health Minister Jane Philpott calling on them to take immediate action on pharmacare. [ ... ]

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