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National health insurance medicines : mixed reactions in the face of the final report of the advisory Council


Andrea Lubeck

13 June 2019 13:30

Photo : Rawpixel

The advisory Council on the implementation of the national system of drug insurance has submitted its final report and recommends that Canada adopt a system of prescription drug insurance universal, public and single-payer.

This conclusion has received a mixed reception on the part of the different actors affected directly or indirectly by the future public plan.

L’Association canadienne des compagnies d’assurances de personnes (CLHIA), which advocated a continuation of private plans from the beginning, has said to encourage ” strongly urge the federal government to move forward in its project to expand access to prescription drugs for those who need it, and to control the cost of medicines “. However, the association believes that the collaboration between the public and private plans is preferable.

“We believe that there is a pathway for the future feasible and affordable to allow all Canadians access to the medicines they need, without jeopardizing what works today,” said Stephen Frank, president and chief executive officer of the CPOMA, by way of a press release. According to us, the public plans and insurers should collaborate between them in order to negotiate better prices for all Canadians. In addition, we support the establishment of a national drug formulary that all plans, whether they are public or private, would be required to cover, at a minimum, in order to ensure greater consistency across Canada, and to fill the current gaps. “

25 million people already covered

The CLHIA recalls that more than 25 million people in the country already have coverage for prescription drugs through the plan of their employer.

She would also like to remind that a public opinion poll shows that 83 % of Canadians want governments to affect the taxpayers ‘ money to the coverage of prescription drugs for those who need it, and not for those covered by employer plans “.

“Canadians need to be able to pay for the drugs that they are prescribed. Together, the public and private plans can help people who do not have coverage or who are struggling with the costs of catastrophic. This is the kind of collaboration that we can achieve the objectives of a national drug insurance, without involving the costs envisaged in the report published today, ” adds Mr. Frank.

The CLHIA supports, however, the creation of thecanadian Agency for drugs and the allocation of funds to facilitate the access to high-cost drugs to treat rare diseases.

Pharmacists rank next to the minister of Health

TheAssociation québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires (AQPP) puts himself on the side of the minister of Health of Quebec, Danielle McCann, who demand a right of withdrawal of Quebec, with full compensation ” within the jurisdiction of the provinces.”

The president of the AQPP, Jean Thiffault, adopts a position similar to that of the CLHIA advocating a continuation of the mixed regime the current ” proven “. “It is certainly perfectible, but it already allows all Quebecers to have access to a drug insurance plan, regardless of their income. We believe that the quebec model may serve as an example to the canadian government, since it holds the list of drugs the most developed in Canada, based on evidence. “

Biosimilars to support the national system

For its part, Biosimilars Canada advises the government to recommend policies for the management of the lists of drugs that promote the use of biosimilars to ” ensure the sustainability of the national health insurance drugs “.

As reported by the Journal of insurance, the pharmacist Marc Parent recommends that Quebec adopt a measure similar to that of British Columbia. The province wants to use the biosimilar drugs in the treatment of certain diseases, that will save several million dollars.

The recommendations of the advisory Council

The advisory Board’s recommendations included in the final report follow those outlined in the interim report, published last march. It also includes the creation of the canadian Agency for drugs and the establishment of a national list of prescription drugs.

“The drug plan of universal, public and single-payer will allow all Canadians, including one in five who does not have insurance or is under-insured, have access to prescription drugs. A national form will ensure that the same medicines are offered anywhere in Canada, ” says the advisory Board.

It also recommends that the plan be transferable to the stranger, that there is a distinct pathway, as well as earmarked funding for the drugs costly in the case of a rare disease and that the drug approval process to be simplified.

The advisory Council argues that the plan will allow for a savings of $ 5 billion each year due to an increase in bargaining power, a reduction of the administrative costs and other improvements. This represents a saving of about $ 350 per family on average.

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