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The advisory Board makes its recommendations to the national health insurance medicines


Donna Glasgow

6 March 2019 13:30

Photo : Freepik

The advisory Council on the implementation of the national system of drug insurance has submitted its interim report to the federal government. One of the three original recommendations of the Council is to create a national agency of the drug responsible for overseeing the prescription drug insurance.

Chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Board has also recommended to develop a complete list of prescribed medications, and evidence-based (national form), in order to harmonize the coverage in Canada. The third initial recommendation of the Council is to invest in the data relating to the prescription drugs and in the computer systems.

Challenge price

Since its launch in June 2018, the Board has conducted extensive consultations with Canadians, in which he identified three major challenges facing Canada in relation to the coverage of prescription drugs. One of the problems is that too many Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need.

“Even people who have insurance coverage for prescription drugs may be required to incur significant expense and often prohibitive because of the deductibles, portions and limits, annual or lifetime,” write the authors.

It is also noted that an analysis of the edition 2016 of the Survey the canadian community health reveals that approximately one million Canadians have to choose between food and heat or a prescription required.

Coverage varies from one jurisdiction to another

The second major challenge identified by the Council is that access to coverage of prescription drugs is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another and from one population to another.

“The majority of Canadians have access to some form of coverage for prescription drugs through a mosaic of over 100 insurance schemes for public and 100,000 private pension plans in Canada. However, the eligibility of patients and the extent of coverage vary considerably according to factors such as age, income, employer, place of residence, the health disorder and prescribed medication, ” the report says.

Drug spending is unsustainable

The third challenge is that the spending of Canada prescription drugs are unsustainable, also stresses the report. “Spending on prescription drugs in Canada have increased considerably over the past few decades, rising from 2.6 billion in 1985 to $ 34 billion in 2018 ; it is expected to exceed $ 50 billion by 2028. “

The rising prices of medicines and the increased use of new drugs with high costs are part of this challenge. “The message of almost all providers of drug insurance plan public and private was the same : costs are rising at an unsustainable rate. Without reform, the system will soon be at the point of rupture, ” the report notes.

Final report due this spring

In a statement, the federal government announced that it would review these initial recommendations pending the final report of the Council, planned for next spring.

“Canadians should not have to choose between paying for their medications or put food on the table. Our government is committed to exploring a national insurance scheme-medicines that would not give up any Canadian. I would like to thank the advisory Council on the implementation of a national system of drug insurance for the work he has done up to now and I look forward to receiving its final report, ” said the minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

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