• Michael Laxer

Canada deserves #PharmacareNow joint campaign launched

“Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal pharmacare, leaving 7.5 million Canadians with insufficient or no drug coverage."


Heart & Stroke Canada has launched a joint campaign with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) encouraging Canadians to write letters telling "the federal government that Canada deserves #PharmacareNow."


According to Doug Roth, the CEO of Heart & Stroke, “Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal pharmacare, leaving 7.5 million Canadians with insufficient or no drug coverage. We know that some groups are more affected than others – including racialized Canadians and women. Many people are forced to make difficult decisions by cutting spending on food and heat to pay for the prescriptions their families need for their health.”


CLC President Hassan Yussuff notes that the Covid-19 pandemic has made the situation worse. “COVID-19 has resulted in more people losing their jobs and consequently losing their benefits. In fact Canadians are twice as likely to have lost prescription drug coverage as to have gained it over the past year”.


The letter is addressed to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Patty Hajdu and reads:


Everyone in Canada deserves access to the prescription medications they need. Yet 7.5 million Canadians have insufficient or no drug coverage and some are more vulnerable than others – including racialized Canadians and women. Many are making difficult decisions by cutting spending on food and heat to ensure their families have the prescription drugs they need.
COVID-19 has resulted in more people losing their jobs and consequently losing their benefits, making pharmacare more important than ever.
In 2019 your government’s own advisory council recommended a national, universal, single-payer pharmacare program to be fully implemented by 2027.
Due to the urgency of the situation I am calling on you to take immediate action. As a concrete first step to implementing universal pharmacare your government should allocate sufficient funding in the coming 2021 Federal Budget to begin implementing universal coverage of essential medicines by July 1, 2021.
It is time to act. Canada deserves #PharmacareNow.

It can be signed at: Canada deserves pharmacare now | Heart and Stroke Foundation