The Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) says it believes any federal government pharmacare plan should be sustainable, effective and available to all Canadians without imposing any additional cost on citizens or businesses.

“Health is already a major part of the budget and our aging population, along with the emergence of more expensive drugs based on personalized medicine or genetic markers, will only exacerbate the situation,” FCCQ president and CEO Stéphane Forget said August 22. “The FCCQ recommends that the cost of the plan be shared among a number of payers, including public and private plans, employers and patients in order to ensure its sustainability."

The FCCQ is a participant on the Advisory Council Round Table on the Implementation of a National Pharmacare Plan.

Not a total overhaul of the current system

Forget said a mixed-coverage system like the one he proposed would not require a complete overhaul of the current system and would keep any disruption to a minimum. Such a mixed-coverage system would also allow governments to focus their limited resources on drug coverage for the most vulnerable.

“Quebec has had a system in place for over 20 years that covers all Quebecers and has proven to be a model that works well,” said Forget. “In this context, we believe that provincial participation should be voluntary, with compensation from the federal government in the event of any province pulling out.”

By bringing together members representing employers and different sectors of activity such as generic and innovative medicines, insurance, pharmacy owners, and healthcare providers, he said the FCCQ offers a unique perspective on the sector.