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431-00159 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

Whereas:

Hundreds of thousands of residents in Canada do not have access to purchase all of the prescription drugs that he or she may require;

Having to choose between medications and healthy food is a common reality for far too many people every day in Canada.

We, the undersigned, residents of Canada call upon our National Government to work with the provinces in developing a National Pharmacare Program for prescribed medicines.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Darren Fisher

We are committed to strengthening Canada’s health care system and to supporting the health of Canadians. No Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table, yet many are still forced to make this impossible decision.

That is why we are committed to working with provinces, territories and stakeholders to continue to implement national universal pharmacare so that Canadians have the drug coverage they need. As part of Budget 2019, the Government of Canada announced the next critical steps towards the implementation of national pharmacare. This includes the establishment of a Canada Drug Agency, a national formulary and a national strategy for high-cost drugs for rare diseases.

Additionally, as a foundational step towards national pharmacare, the Government of Canada recently modernized the way patented drug prices are regulated in Canada by amending the Patented Medicines Regulations. Implementation of this modernized regulatory framework will enable the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board to better protect Canadian consumers from excessive prices of patented medicines. These amendments are expected to lower drug prices in Canada, which are approximately 25% higher than international peers, and save Canadians $13.2 billion over the next 10 years. The amendments were published in Canada Gazette, Part II on August 21, 2019 and are available at:  http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2019/2019-08-21/html/sor-dors298-eng.html        

The federal government is also working with the provinces and territories as an active member of the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA). The pCPA combines governments’ collective buying power to negotiate lower prices on brand name drugs for all public plans, and sets the price point for many generic drugs. The pCPA has completed more than 369 joint brand drug negotiations and achieved price reductions on nearly 70 of the most commonly prescribed generic drugs. As of April 1, 2019, the pCPA was estimated to have achieved approximately $2.26 billion in annual cost savings for public drug plans.

Through these actions, we continue to work with provincial and territorial governments and other key partners to improve the affordability and accessibility of needed prescription drugs.

Presented to the House of Commons
Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North)
April 28, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00159)
Government response tabled
July 20, 2020
Photo - Kevin Lamoureux
Winnipeg North
Liberal Caucus
Manitoba

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