Skip to main content
// //

A pharmacist counts pills at the CentreTown Pharmacy in Ottawa on June 12, 2019.

CHRIS WATTIE/Reuters

A coalition of 150 health care organizations and non-profits is calling on Finance Minister Bill Morneau to make sure there is funding in the coming federal budget to launch the first phase of a universal drug plan by 2022.

The Pharmacare Now Coalition has written to Morneau, as well as to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other senior government ministers, to ask for an additional $3.5 billion in the upcoming budget to finance access to an approved list of essential medicines for the public.

The group is also asking for incremental increases to that figure each year to achieve public access to a full array of pharmaceuticals by 2027.

Story continues below advertisement

Trudeau promised to pursue a universal drug plan in the last election and included the initiative in the mandate letter of Health Minister Patty Hajdu.

His Liberal government, reduced to a minority in last fall’s election, will need support from at least one of the main opposition parties to pass the budget, expected next month.

Implementing a national pharmacare plan will also require negotiations with provincial and territorial governments.

About 20 per cent of Canadians, or more than 7.5 million people, are estimated to be either uninsured or underinsured for prescription drug costs. A national pharmacare plan would address that, and aim to save billions of dollars. Globe health reporter Kelly Grant explains.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies