April 1st, 2019

Quality Prescription Drug Coverage for Everyone in Canada

COQUITLAM – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Health Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) announced Medicine for All, the NDP’s plan for pharmacare. New Democrats will create a national pharmacare program that provides universal, public, comprehensive coverage to everyone in Canada.

“People throughout the country are making impossible choices when it comes to affording the prescription drugs they need like choosing between paying for rent and filling a prescription,” said Singh. “Instead of bringing immediate help for people, Justin Trudeau is floating a U.S.-style system based on private insurance that will just deepen inequality. Under our plan, you’ll just need your health card – not your credit card – at the pharmacy checkout.”

The Liberal approach drives up costs by reducing purchasing power and putting pharmaceutical and insurance companies in the driver’s seat as drug prices spiral upwards. This patchwork approach may help increase the profits of big pharmaceutical companies and insurance corporations, but it won’t deliver quality drug coverage for every Canadian.

The NDP’s plan will be targeted to begin in 2020, and will roll out immediately to cover everyone in Canada with the same high-quality benefits no matter where they live. Our approach will deliver enormous cost savings to governments, business, individuals and families – and it will go a long way to controlling the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs in our healthcare system.

“A national pharmacare program will make life more affordable for everyone, and will make good on the promise of Canada as a country where your bank account doesn’t determine the quality of your health care – something we can all be proud of,” added Davies. “It’s time for a government that has the courage to take on wealthy pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and makes medication more affordable for people. New Democrats have the courage to get it done.”

In addition to providing quality coverage for Canadians who are currently uninsured, our plan would save families that currently do have private drug coverage more than $500 per year, and even more for families that do not have private drug coverage. Our plan would also save employers approximately $600 per employee with extended health benefits.