Healthcare at the Crossroads: Mercer’s Model for Canadian Pharmacare

Cropped image of pharmacist holding pill bottle and digital tablet, doctor, laboratory, pharmacy, drug, chemist, individual, hands, medicine

In winter 2018, the Canadian government announced its intention to implement a national pharmacare program, and has held nationwide consultations asking for input on what that pharmacare program will look like.

We welcomed this move: the status quo is unsustainable, with the existing patchwork of provincial plans and group employee benefit plans falling well behind Canadians’ expectations, and with too many Canadians having inadequate drug coverage – or no coverage at all.

But the details matter. We believe that any national pharmacare initiative must take employers’ and group benefit plan sponsors’ perspectives into account, and not impose added risks or costs. Whether the risk is to the collective bargaining cycle, to incentives to invest in workforce wellness, or to Canada’s competitive position internationally, employers’ voices must be heard.

There is a balance to be struck between the need to provide universal drug coverage and the need to ensure employers have maximum flexibility. And we believe we have found that balance.

In our submission to the federal government’s National Advisory Council, we outlined our proposed Pharmacare model – and now we’re sharing it with you.

Download the whitepaper to learn more about Mercer’s Pharmacare model.

What is the government asking for when designing their Pharmacare model?

The government asked a number of questions to inform submissions to the Advisory Council:

  • Who will be covered, and under what circumstances?
  • How should national pharmacare be delivered?
  • Which drugs get covered?
  • Should there be different drugs covered across different jurisdictions?
  • Who pays? Should patients face co-payments or deductibles?
  • Should employers continue to play a significant role in funding drug coverage for their employees?

We answer these questions in our detailed national pharmacare model.


Download the whitepaper to learn more about Mercer’s Pharmacare model.
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