Canada Pharmacare Act
November 30, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are writing to you today seeking your support in reaching out to your union’s members about Bill C-213, the Canada Pharmacare Act.
Introduced in February 2020, the Canada Pharmacare Act is groundbreaking new federal legislation based on the recommendations of the Hoskins Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare and modelled on the Canada Health Act.
The Canada Pharmacare Act specifies the conditions and criteria that provincial and territorial prescription drug insurance programs must meet to receive federal funding. This includes the core principles of public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility.
Universal public pharmacare will extend prescription drug coverage to every single Canadian, while us saving billions every year. The final report of the Hoskins Advisory Council found that, once fully implemented, universal public pharmacare will reduce annual system-wide spending on prescription drugs by $5 billion. Businesses and employees will see their prescription drug costs reduced by $16.6 billion annually and families will see their out of pocket drug costs reduced by $6.4 billion a year.
As you know, across Canada, people are making impossible choices every day because they cannot afford their prescription medications. Over the past year alone, one-in-four Canadians were forced to avoid filling or renewing a prescription due to cost or take measures to extend a prescription because they could not afford to keep the recommended dosage schedule.
Even those with private coverage are seeing their employer-sponsored benefits shrink – a trend that has accelerated due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. In fact, Canadians are twice as likely to have lost prescription drug coverage as to have gained it over the past year.
Canada’s unions have been a leading voice advocating for the implementation of universal public pharmacare. We are once again asking for your support to make this vision a reality. Your assistance in sharing information about this bill will undoubtedly improve the likelihood of it being adopted.
Indeed, the Canada Pharmacare Act is reaching a crucial period in the legislative process. The first hour of debate on this bill took place in Parliament on November 18, 2020. The second hour of debate and the first vote will be held in February 2021. This legislation could be enacted by next spring, allowing millions of Canadians who are struggling to pay for medication to receive the support they desperately need.
For more information and to sign the e-petition, please visit our website: https://www.peterjulian.ca/pharmacare
Thank you very much for your consideration. Please feel free to contact us if you require any further information.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Peter Julian, MP
New Westminster - Burnaby
Jenny Kwan, MP
Don Davies, MP