Letter to the Editor
Princeton Similkameen Spotlight
William L. Day
11 July 2018
The House Of Commons All-Party Standing Committee on Health has recently endorsed and recommended the implementation of a Canadian Pharmacare Program.
Many currently healthy people are not aware that prescription drugs are covered by our Canada health insurance only while the client is in hospital. Insurance outside the hospi- tal varies greatly among provinces and territories.
For example, the same out-of-hospital cancer treatment can cost you $0 in Nunavut; $3,000 in BC; $20,000 in PEI.
Currently, Canadians pay more for prescription medications than citizens in any other of the 29 wealthy OECD countries except Switzerland and the USA.
More than three million Canadians are under-insured or uninsured for prescription drugs outside approved hospitals.
Researchers have found that overall, 5.5 per cent of respondents across Canada reported they couldn’t take their medications as prescribed because of costs. In B.C., the propor- tion falling through such cracks in the health system was highest among all provinces and territories, at 8.11 per cent.
Unlike all other industrialized countries, neither the USA nor Canada have established a drug plan that would allow their national governments to negotiate drug prices on behalf of their entire population.
In summary, Canada remains the only industrialized country with universal health insur- ance but no national Pharmacare strategy for its citizens.
The Support Our Health Care Society (SOHC) of Princeton will be doing its best to ac- quaint Similkameen residents with our collective problem and opportunity. We will be providing information in Princeton at retail outlets and surveying our local public on the issue. We intend to inform our MPs and MLAs of our activities and findings. To date, they have been very receptive. Readers are encouraged to go to the government website to read the original complete document and join the discussion:
The power to engineer this change lies with us, with Ottawa and our collective Members of Parliament and MLAs. They are listening and waiting for us to signal our support for change.
The Time Has Come.
Bill Day, Vice President, Support Our Health Care Society, Princeton BC