National Drug Plan Would Save Billions

OTTAWA – In the wake of new research from the Canadian Medical Association Journal on the benefits of universal drug coverage, NDP Health Critic Don Davies is calling on the federal Liberal government to seize this opportunity and take action.

“The evidence is clear that universal prescription drug coverage will save Canadians billions on medications and greatly improve our health outcomes,” Davies said. “It’s time to act.”

The study released today in the CMAJ finds that by including a large portion of the most commonly prescribed drugs in a publicly-funded formulary accessible to all, Canadians would save more $4.27-billion annually. The savings would be achieved by leveraging the country’s bulk purchasing power to negotiate lower prices.

“Canada is the only country in the world with a public healthcare system that doesn’t include drug coverage,” said Davies. “It’s time for the federal government to show leadership and ensure all Canadians have access to the essential medications they need, when they need them.”

Recent research has also found that Canada has the second-highest rate of skipped prescriptions due to cost, among comparable countries.