LETTER: Pandemic shows need for national pharmacare program

Writer urges Liberal government to get it done in wake of COVID-19

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)

To the Editor,

We are all living in difficult and uncertain times with this global coronavirus pandemic. With thousands of Canadians and British Columbians being temporarily or permanently unemployed, and almost a million Canadians filing for Employment Insurance benefits, it is not too hard to imagine that many unemployed people will be cut off from their previous private drug coverage, and having to worry about paying for their medically prescribed medications.

While we are blessed to have a universally accessible public medicare system, that provides most healthcare coverage to people regardless of their socio-economic status or income levels, the same can’t be said about outpatient drug coverage. That is why I believe that the long proposed national pharmacare program is long overdue and we need it now.

It is shocking to learn that one out of every five Canadians have no prescription drug coverage whatsoever. Many Canadians cannot afford the medications we need for us to cope with our chronic health issues or our disabilities or to improve our quality of life or just to stay alive.

I said back in January and I say it again: “Come on (Prime Minister Trudeau) Justin, every Canadian health consumer from coast to coast to coast should be covered under a national drug program, period.

It is time the federal government work with the NDP and the Greens to finally make pharmacare a reality.

We need it now.

Edward Sawdon,

St. John’s NL

Coronavirus

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