October 30, 2018 13:30
Photo : Freepik
In the budget of 2018, the federal government has put in place an advisory council to establish the best way to implement a national pharmacare program for Canadians. The Sun Life Financial has recently proposed a model in a document titled ” National Pharmacare : Getting It Right.
“The best solution for Canadians is not one that is based on a model of single payer, but one that relies on the strength and the strengths of the public and private sectors “, writes Jacques Goulet, president of Sun Life Financial Canada.
According to him, use a wrong model could have a number of unintended consequences on canadian consumers, including the loss of additional benefits, such as paramedical services, and a significant reduction in the number of drugs for which they are currently covered.
Risk of loss of jobs
In addition to the fact that the employers would lose the value of the additional benefits to attract and retain their employees, a bad national pharmacare program could also lead to significant job losses in the firms of group insurance in Canada, and to reduce private sector investment in assistive technology to patients.
Adding his voice to the national debate, the document of Sun Life offers a solution, according to which all Canadians are covered by a standard form used by insurance plans, public and private. It also requests the government to provide catastrophic coverage to those who are in need of treatment costs, which are difficult to be covered by plans offered by employers.
Finally, it indicates that the private insurers need a seat at the negotiating table. Sun Life offers thepan-canadian Alliance pharmaceutical (APPC), which facilitates the negotiation of a joint price of prescription drugs, in order to ensure the costs of prescription drugs lower. At the present time, the alliance does not negotiate the prices of prescription drugs to the provincial governments, territorial and federal.
The private sector plays a critical role
“We can’t ignore that the current system works well for Canadians. 98 % have access to coverage in public and/or private, and most have affordable access to a wide range of prescription drugs. The private sector plays a crucial role in this system, covering 25 million Canadians and almost 40 % of the total cost of prescription drugs, mainly through benefits in the workplace “, say the authors of the report.
“In this paper, we describe a solution that is affordable and efficient to extend the coverage to all Canadians and protecting the health benefits in the workplace, on which millions of employees and their families rely. This is not a solution to single-payer, but a solution in which the private and public sectors work together. “