Prescribing a plan

The Council of Canadians is calling on the federal government to create a national pharmacare plan.

The advocacy group says such a plan would save Canadians billions while also allowing those on the lower end of the income spectrum to afford medications they would otherwise not be able to.

The group recently released a report about the benefits of such a plan, and Prince Albert’s local chapter of the council launched their campaign Monday.

“Although Canada has universal health are, there’s no drug coverage,” said Nancy Carswell of the Prince Albert chapter of the Council of Canadians. “One out of ten Canadians can’t afford their prescription.”

According to the council, pharmacare would save Canadians about $14 billion per year by reducing administration costs and giving stronger buying power to negotiate better prices for medication.

The group also estimates that companies spend about $200 million per week on prescription drug costs incurred by employer drug plans. Replacing those plans with a universal, publicly-funded pharmacare program could save those companies $8 billion annually, the group claims.

For Carswell, it’s also a quality of life issue.

For more on this story, please see the June 8 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.

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