The Government of Canada recently opened consultations on a national strategy for high-cost drugs including rare disease – the next step towards a national pharmacare program. Employers and plan sponsors have told us that they would welcome a strategy that improves access to innovative therapies and does not impose added costs or risks for their business.
Our submission to Health Canada recognizes the ongoing role for private plans in delivering a national strategy – one that delivers for all Canadians.
Private drug plans have a long track record of success in ensuring that Canadians get the treatments and therapies they need. Any national strategy for high-cost drugs must therefore be developed collaboratively with plan sponsors and employers, both in the creation of any public program and in the execution of that program.
A national strategy must:
At Mercer, we agree with Health Canada’s three pillars for a national high-cost drug plan including rare disease. Any strategy selected must be accessible, evidence-based and sustainable.
For Canadians, accessibility includes a strategy that is:
For decision makers, evidence‑based needs to include
For the economy as a whole, sustainable means:
As a plan sponsor, you know how important it is that your workforce remain healthy. Implemented properly, a national strategy for high‑cost drugs would be a win for both you and your plan members. It would improve your plan’s sustainability, and in doing so, help you support the health and wellbeing of your workforce.
But for that to come to pass, we must see a national strategy that allows plan sponsors the flexibility and the competitiveness allow you to keep doing what you do best, while mitigating the risks posed by high‑cost drugs.
In doing so, it will deliver for both employers and employees – and bring Canada one‑step closer to completing the promise of universal healthcare.
Contact a Mercer consultant or read our latest perspective for insights on what this means for your organization.