It is time for a universal single-payer pharmacare system and prescription drug coverage for all. That is the clear message from our NDP team.
Nearly two million Canadians can’t afford to fill their prescriptions. For many people that means more trips to the doctor or the hospital, hurting their health and costing more in the long run. It’s estimated that hundreds of premature deaths occur each year among working-age Canadians who are unable to afford their prescription medicines.
There is a clear solution. We can build a universal single-payer pharmacare system together instead of protecting the profits of big pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
A single-payer system is the best way to make sure that we’re using purchasing power to get the lowest prices for drugs, saving Canada’s precious health care dollars. It builds on our single-payer medicare system that is seen as a model throughout the world.
I believe it would be a mistake to introduce a patchwork system that “fills the gaps.” We need to take this opportunity to cover everyone equally, strengthen our public healthcare system, and save people out of pocket costs at the same time.
In Canada, it should only take a health card, not a credit card, to stay healthy.