OTTAWA – Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP Health Critic Don Davies repeated their calls on the Trudeau government to immediately implement a universal public single-payer pharmacare plan as recommended by the Hoskins report.
“People throughout the country are having a hard time paying for their medication. And today, Dr. Hoskins and the advisory council have come to the same conclusion as every other expert panel and study done on the subject: prescription drug coverage should be integrated into our public health care system to cover everyone,” said Singh. “Now, will the Liberals continue to stand with big pharma and the insurance lobby, or will they stand with Canadians and the NDP to finally implement a promise they abandoned over 20 years ago?”
“On clinical, ethical, and economic grounds, universal public drug coverage has been recommended by national commissions, federal committees, and advisory councils dating as far back as the 1940s,” added Davies. “We need implementation now. Canadians have waited decades, the case is overwhelming, and people are getting sick and are dying because they can’t access medicine.”
Since its founding convention in 1961, the New Democratic Party has advocated for prescription drug coverage for all Canadians, regardless of their ability to pay. The 1997 Liberal election platform pledged to develop a “national plan and timetable for introducing universal public coverage for medically necessary prescription drugs,” but this commitment was scrapped in the face of industry pressure and hasn’t been implemented by any Liberal government since.
“For New Democrats, our position is clear – we stand with Canadians and will help Canadians access the medication they need,” said Singh. “That’s why two months ago we unveiled our plan to implement a universal public single-payer pharmacare plan that will cover everyone in Canada by 2020.”
“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals cannot be trusted or given a blank cheque by Canadians to put forward the interests of big pharma and insurance companies,” concluded Davies. “With New Democrats elected in the next Parliament, pharmacare for all will become a reality in Canada.”