Windsor Regional Chamber Proposes Pharmacare Principles

The Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is releasing a list of five principles to be used in creating a national pharmacare program.

The policy paper was created in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Local chamber president Matt Marchand says they felt it was important to set out their guidelines at the early stages of the federal government's process.

Marchand says many of the principles have been discussed in previous health care policy pieces from the chamber.

"Access to medicine in a timely manner, that's obviously one of the pillars and the strength of the public-private system are leveraged and we also have patient outcomes that is something we've been talking about the last couple of years here at the Windsor-Essex Chamber in partnership with our colleagues in Ontario."

He says they've included a principle that broad and appropriate access to innovative medications is ensured.

"I think that's part of the broader discussion in pharmacare.  How do we do that, what's the best way to do that to ensure that we have innovation in the pharma sector, but in the same time keeping costs down.  That's going to be certainly an important discussion over the next year and a half."

Marchand says if the system is created properly there could be cost savings in health care overall.

"Certainly the bulk buying is something we've talked about, we've talked about leveraging the private sector within the single payer system.  Which is a large pillar of what we've talked about over the past couple of years.  All that stuff I think should get into the hopper, if you will, and we look forward to those discussions over the next year or so."

Marchand adds, a national pharmacare program has the possibility of giving Canada a competitive advantage over other countries.