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What is the Latest on the National Pharmacare?

prescription 1200If you have been following my Blogs you might have noticed that I have been following the conversation on the National PharmacareSun Life has provided an update on the talks.

They have recognized three major areas of concern:

  1.  Too many Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need.
  2.  Access to prescription drug coverage is inconsistent across jurisdictions and populations.
  3.  Canada’s spending on prescription drugs is unsustainable.

These are the Foundational Elements that the task force feels are vital to ensure the successful implementation of national pharmacare.

  1. Create a national drug agency.
  2. Develop a comprehensive, evidence-based national formulary.
  3. Invest in drug data and information technology (IT) systems.

So my question is, how will this be funded?  The report has recommended the following:

“A majority of participants supported using Canada’s progressive income tax system as the preferred source of incremental funds, although many also emphasized that substantial savings were expected to accrue to governments as national pharmacare would provide greater negotiating power leading to lower drug prices.”

I’m not against the National Pharmacare, my problem is when we use the tax system it seems that we lose control on the spending.  When an employer pays for it through the Employee Benefit program they can make changes that fit their budget.

This year in BC the way our Medical Services Plan (MSP) is funded has changed.  The government is taxing the Employer, would the cost to fund the National Pharmacare be added to the Employer’s tax bill as well?  For some companies it might not matter because they already pay for this benefit through a private plan, while other companies don’t feel they are in a financial position to offer this benefit.  Will they now have to pay for it through the tax system?

This is the last Blog I created on the National Pharmacare:

What is the solution to the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs?

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