Canada needs new agency to oversee pharmacare program, panel says

Liberals, NDP set to promise a universal, public program if elected this fall

A federally struck expert panel says the government should create a new agency to oversee rolling out a national pharmacare program.

The panel made two other interim recommendations Tuesday morning, including developing a national list of drugs so coverage is the same across the country and spending to gather better data on prescription medications.

READ MORE: Prescription drug payments eliminated for low-income B.C. residents

The government says it will consider the panel’s interim recommendations while it awaits a final report due this spring.

By fall, pharmacare is to be dangled in front of voters with the New Democrats promising a universal, public program if elected and the Liberals are expected to make a similar campaign pledge.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says drugs are the fastest-growing component in health spending but unlike hospital care and doctors’ visits, most people’s medication needs aren’t covered by public health insurance.

An analysis by the parliamentary budget officer estimated a broad coverage regime would cost $20 billion a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Help is available for Port Alberni businesses restarting after COVID-19 closures

Popular food truck finds a new location on Johnston Road

A LOOK BACK: recreation in Port Alberni’s downtown

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

QUINN’S QUIPS: Port Alberni woman honoured for her love of helping

Carolina Tatoosh earns provincial honours for her work with Nuu-chah-nulth elders, youth

West Coast Trail to remain closed for now

Federal government won’t open world-famous trek until its First Nations are ready for visitors

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

RCMP remind public to leave dogs chilling at home on hot days

Dogsafe has designed a Dog in a Hot Car Responder Checklist

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Most Read