Pharmacare Costing in Canada: Estimated Costs of Proposed National Pharmacare Programs Commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association has commissioned a report to look at estimated costs of a national Pharmacare program in Canada. Their findings suggest that existing proposals are impractical, disruptive, and the potential for cost savings is overstated.

Specific concerns from the report suggest that the existing proposals:

  • replace the increasingly effective existing jurisdiction‐specific and pan‐Canadian initiatives which to date have significantly improved access, sustainability, and affordability of prescription drug coverage for Canadian patients;
  • limit the selection and availability of prescription drugs with implications for patient treatment options and outcomes; and
  • significantly increase government expenditures on drugs largely for patients that already have private coverage.


Recommendations for better proposals which take a pan-Canadian Approach that build upon and maintain the existing public and private drug reimbursement infrastructure would represent:

  • Continued quality and quantity of coverage for the majority of Canadians who are existing public and private drug plan beneficiaries. This results in better health outcomes for Canadians and more efficient allocation of healthcare dollars.
  • Minimized risk and costs to governments and taxpayers by maintaining a robust private drug insurance industry to share these risks and costs. This improves long‐ term sustainability and affordability for both taxpayers and patients.
  • Solutions that will ensure Canada remains a desirable market to which innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers will continue to bring important medical innovations contributing to improved health status for Canadians.
  • Solutions that build upon, rather than abandon, investments made to date on initiatives that have successfully improved universality, comprehensiveness and sustainability of prescription drug coverage across Canada.
  • They incur lower costs to governments and taxpayers than public‐only options.
  • More feasible solutions due to the evolutionary approach they propose to improve prescription drug coverage where other revolutionary approaches have failed to take root


Read the full report here

 You can also find and download  this report on our HTA Program Area page under “Resources”


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