Essex MP Supports National Pharmacare Program

A new report from the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found that if 117 if the most common prescription drugs were made universally available, the health care system would save billions of dollars a year.

Researchers say a universal pharmacare system that would be achieved through bulk-buying and would help address gaps in Canadian health care.

The report says, as it stands right now, many Canadians don't take their medications because they can't afford them and end up in hospital.

That's far more costly than providing the drugs through a national pharmacare program.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey told AM800's 'The Afternoon News' it's hard to believe Canada still doesn't have one. "We're one of the only developed countries that doesn't have a pharmacare program to supplement a medicare program and this makes a lot of sense both from the health and economic perspective."

"The lack of universal coverage for prescription drugs is forcing people to make impossible choices," says Ramsey. "I can tell you what I see happening in my office, is people making really difficult decisions about whether or not to take their medication or pay their hydro. That's unacceptable we can do better as a country."

The CMA report estimated annual savings to the health care system of about $3-billion.

Ramsey says the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions calculates the saving to the system at almost $11.5-billion.