Government launches Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare

By The IJ Staff | June 21 2018 09:45AM

Photo: Freepik

The Government of Canada announced on June 20 the appointment of six Canadians as members of its new Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare.

The newly appointed council members are: Ms. Mia Homsy, Council Vice Chair, and Director General of the Institut du Québec; Dr. Nadine Caron, Canada's first female Indigenous surgeon, University of British Columbia; Mr. Vincent Dumez, Co-director of the Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP) at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal; Ms. Camille Orridge, Senior Fellow at the Wellesley Institute; Ms. Diana Whalen, former Deputy Premier and Finance Minister of Nova Scotia; Mr. John Wright, former Deputy Minister of Health and Deputy Minister of Finance for the Government of Saskatchewan and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Institute for Health Information. These members join Dr. Eric Hoskins who was previously appointed Chair of the Council.

Fiscal, economic and social assessment

The Council will conduct a fiscal, economic and social assessment of domestic and international pharmacare models and will consult with Canadians on pharmacare.

The Council's independent interim report is expected to be delivered to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance later this year, followed by its final report in spring 2019. The Council’s report will provide the Government with recommendations on how to best move forward on implementing a national pharmacare program.

An important step

"Today, the Government of Canada is taking an important step toward ensuring that all Canadians can afford the prescription drugs they need. I look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Advisory Council, and to working with our partners to deliver a national pharmacare program that works for all Canadians," stated Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance.

In a statement, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) welcomed the government’s Advisory Council announcement.

Health benefit plans

"Canada's life and health insurers are ready to work with the Advisory Council as it develops options to ensure access to affordable prescription medicines for everyone," said Stephen Frank, President and CEO of CLHIA. "The Advisory Council's work is important to help improve our current system so that it works better for all Canadians. Smart reform will ensure that patients have access to the medicines they need at affordable prices, that strong workplace health benefit plans are protected, and that tax dollars are used wisely."

"We look forward to participating in the consultations that the Council will undertake and remain committed to doing our part to improve Canada's system," adds Mr. Frank.