National Pharmacare appears to be regarded by many as a panacea for the woes of the present hodgepodge of provincial drug plans, but some provinces seem to view it as an opportunity to alleviate the strain on their drug budgets.
Calls for a government-operated national drug insurance program have been getting louder over the past few months, culminating most recently with premiers from across the country signing a “prescription” for “National Drug Coverage.”
Calls for a national drug insurance program, commonly referred to as Pharmacare, can regularly be found in Canada’s media.
Drug Coverage for low-income families: The Canadian Reality and Lessons from Switzerland and the Netherlands
As part of their struggle with budget realities and the growing cost of health care, Canada's provinces continue to work on bulk purchasing agreements for pharmaceuticals as a way to save money. Unfortunately, the recent release from the Council of the Federation (the council of Canada's premiers) suffers from the typical one-sided approach that characterizes much of the drug policy discussion. Yes, there are up front savings to be had. But there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Question: Should patients in Rome or Detroit have faster access to new prescription drugs than someone living in Victoria or Windsor? If your answer to that is no, then here is another query: Why do government agencies tasked to approve or deny new drugs in Europe and the United States (and which presumably have the same high standards as Canada) act quicker when compared to Health Canada?