Universal Pharmacare Within Reach: C.D. Howe Institute

Friday, June 7th, 2019

In “Filling the Gaps: A Prescription for Universal Pharmacare,” Policy Analyst Rosalie Wyonch finds there are ways to close the gaps in prescription drug coverage and protect households from excessive costs when in acute need through the expansion of public insurance… The report investigates current prescription drug insurance in Canadian provinces, evaluates options for achieving universal coverage and estimates their cost.

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The Fallacy of Federal Advantage in Delivering Pharmacare

Friday, May 17th, 2019

… the 2019 federal budget proposed the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency to conduct health technology assessments, negotiate prices and listing terms… That is, the new agency could substantially lower the national drug budget even if the federal and provincial/territorial governments are not able to agree on a single-payer government plan… Prescription drugs are an increasingly large component of total healthcare costs, and should be integrated with other areas of health spending and policies to control it.

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Don’t Make Pharmacare Completely Free

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Adjusting per-prescription charges is a logical way for provinces to respond to evidence of over-use and to fiscal pressures that might otherwise cause them to limit coverage in other ways, and in particular through rationing… Optimally, deductibles should be designed to put an income-dependent ceiling on out-of-pocket expenses depending on the individual’s state of health. These payments are not a bug in social insurance programs; they are a key feature that should be part of any universal pharmacare program.

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On Pharmacare, the Liberals offer big questions and small investments

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

… If [the federal government] were to directly fund and manage drug coverage, there would be less integration in the management of overall health care costs and provinces would have less incentive for cost-effective choices between drugs and other inputs to health care… One hopes that the final report on the Implementation of National Pharmacare will… clarify the intended scope of public drug coverage and Ottawa’s intended role in a new national pharmacare system.

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Assessing The National Pharmacare Report

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

The lack of clarity in the scope of a national formulary and associated listing requirements for public insurance also leaves the future role for private insurance companies largely undefined. If the formulary is comprehensive and the listing agreements binding, then there may be only a minor role for private drug insurance. If, however, the formulary covers only essential medicines and provinces retain autonomy in listing decisions, the role of private insurance would remain largely unchanged.

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