Pharmacare for all: A risky proposition?

Pharmacist assisting customer with medicine label, drug, chemist, pharmacy, woman, prescription

The Advisory Council for the Implementation of National Pharmacare has released its final report to the Federal Government.

At Mercer, we believe that the status quo is unsustainable. In September 2018, we submitted to the Council our proposed model for National Pharmacare, which would have helped stabilize Medicare while plugging gaps in the Canadian healthcare system.

The plan the Council has released takes a very different approach.

Some elements of the plan are welcome while we feel other elements pose risks. Providing a reality check for many of the plan details brings this into focus.

The plan is incredibly generous, and we worry that it would provide little encouragement for consumerism and be unsustainable in the long term.

Highlights of the plan:

  • A Rare Disease Drug strategy
  • The formulary will begin with ‘essential medications’ in 2022 and grow
  • The Council’s proposal includes an opt-in for provinces
  • Significant Labour Market Impact

Read our full critique of the new plan, and find out why Mercer believes that the proposed National Pharmacare plan just released is not just unrealistic – it is likely unsustainable.

Fill out the form below to download our whitepaper to learn what this pharmacare proposal could mean for your organization.

Timeline – National pharmacare

  • February 2018: Federal Government’s budget promised a pharmacare working group
  • June 2018: The working group lead is announced: Dr Eric Hoskins, the architect of OHIP+, a very generous single-payer drug benefit for Ontarians 24 and under
  • June 2018: The new Ontario provincial government announces OHIP+ is not sustainable and mostly reverses Dr. Hoskins’ work
  • September 2018: Mercer advocates for private plan sponsors and proposes a sustainable model that addresses key issues for our clients.
  • March 2019: The Council releases an interim report recommending, among other items, the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency to assess drug effectiveness, negotiate pricing and maintain a formulary for the country. It also promises a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.
  • June 2019: Council releases the final report with recommendations on design, funding and timing of a universal, single-payer national pharmacare program
  • Fall 2019: Federal election


Download the whitepaper to find out what National Pharmacare means for your organization.

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