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The panel recommends a payer pharmacy plan for Canada

Canadian press

Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2019 9:05 EDT

Last Updated on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 11:54 EDT

OTTAWA – An Expert Group calls on the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to create a pharmacist to cover every Canadian citizen.

Eric Hoskins, a former health minister in Ontario, publishes findings in Ottawa, giving advice on how to deal with the diverse plans of private and public medicines.

Canada has a variety of provincial-administered drugs plans, mainly for children, the elderly and people with social assistance. Other plans run by the federal government cover other groups, such as the indigenous and military, while private insurance fills the gaps for some.

The Hoskins Council recommends a new drug agency to be responsible for developing a national list of prescription medicines known as a form starting with plain or so-called basic medicines by 1 January 2022.

It also recommended that the original wording should be extended to a "comprehensive form" no later than 1 January 2027.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor responded with a statement saying the government "will look carefully at the Council's final report and its recommendations," and will work with provinces, territories, stakeholders and partners "as we look at the next steps. "

"Our advice has heard the stories of thousands of Canadians and has listened to a wide range of views," Hoskins said in a report entitled "Recipe for Canada: Reaching Pharmacy for All."

"The time for a general, public pharmacist has come … Let's finish the unfinished work on universal health care. This can be our promise and our inheritance to one another and to all future generations. "

The Council argues that the only public pharmacist will provide access to prescription drugs for all Canadians, including about one in five Canadians who are uninsured or uninsured.

"Despite the efforts of all, the (current) system is fragmented, uneven, unequal and unfair," the report said.

"The result is a system where too many people fall into the cracks, which not only leads to poor health but also costs the health system billions of dollars in additional visits to doctors and hospitals when people's health fails as a result of lack of access to medicines. "

The report also calls on the federal government to work with the governments of the provinces and territories to start implementing the national pharmacopoeia as soon as possible with a new financing agreement to be developed jointly by governments and Ottawa which pay extra costs.

Canadians spent $ 34 billion on prescription drugs in 2018, the report said, adding that drug addiction is the second-largest healthcare spending after hospitals.

"We spend even more on drugs than on doctors," he said.

"On a per capita basis, only the United States and Switzerland pay more for prescription drugs, but there is a huge gap in coverage for all these costs."

The report recommends that payments to individuals be limited to $ 2 per prescription for basic medicines and $ 5 per prescription for all other medicines in the national form, with an annual limit of $ 100 per household.

It says that people with disabilities, people with social assistance, and low-income elderly people should be exempt from these fees, known as joint payments.

Once it is implemented, the plan will bring about $ 5 billion in savings, the board said, adding that Canadian savings would be $ 350 a year.

In its latest budget, the liberal government pledged to set up a new bulk drug buying agency and cut spending on medicines in Canada as a first step towards a national drug plan.

The government has also promised to spend $ 500 million a year, starting in 2022, to subsidize rare diseases medicines that have fewer patients to separate the enormous R & D spending.

She also said she intends to work with provinces, territories and other partners to develop a mandate for the National Drug Agency, and Health Canada to receive $ 35 million for four years, starting in 2019-2020 to create office to support the plan.

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