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The NDP is proposing a universal program of drug insurance


Andrea Lubeck

April 3, 2019 09:30

Photo : Freepik

If he is elected to power in the next federal election, the New democratic party (NDP) would create a universal program of drug insurance in Canada. By 2020, Canadians would have access to a ” comprehensive coverage “, say the party leader Jagmeet Singh and the NDP critic on health, Don Davies.

The program would cost 23.7 billion in 2020. There would be savings of $ 4.2 billion ” each year compared to the amount currently spent for medicines in Canada. Under our plan, the part of the federal government in this program (i.e. expenditures which are in addition to what the provinces are already spending for existing programs; prescription drug insurance) would be $ 10 billion per year “, ahead of the NDP.

Establish a list of drugs covered

The NDP promises that the drugs commonly administered and used to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, migraines, and medicines for reproductive health, in particular, will be covered by the program. The specialty pharmaceutical products such as medicines to treat cancer, HIV and inflammatory diseases will be also.

As proposed by the liberal Party of Canada in its budget 2019, an independent agency would be responsible for establishing the list of medications covered by the program.

“Across the country, people must make choices heart-rending when the time comes to get the prescription drugs they need, such as choosing between paying their rent or buy their medications, said Mr. Singh. Instead of providing immediate help to people, Justin Trudeau tinker with a system inspired by the United States, which is based on private insurance and that will only increase inequality. With our plan, you will only need your medicare card — not your credit card — at the pharmacy counter. “

Quebec could withdraw

If he were to decide to withdraw, Québec would receive a full compensation to be used in an equivalent program, dictates the proposal of a programme.

The NDP stresses that the program the québec prescription drug insurance costing $ 200 more per person to the government than the rest of Canada. The party asserts that Quebec ” could see major benefits to participate in a federal scheme of prescription drug insurance “.

The private insurance

L’Association canadienne des compagnies d’assurances de personnes (CLHIA) had already expressed reservations with the program proposed by the current federal government. In particular, its CEO, Stephen Frank, was concerned that the program would jeopardize the private plan and argued for its retention.

The NDP says that ” private insurance will continue to exist and will evolve probably to cover the portions on the drugs provided in the public system, medicines not included on the national list and medical services, such as massages, chiropractic care and physiotherapy “.

Canada ranked as the 3rd highest prices in the world

According to data cited by NPD, one in five canadians has no drug insurance, or is covered by a program ” for which he provides little benefit because of the deductibles and portions “.

In addition, nearly two million Canadians would have said ” not having been able to procure a drug or several in the course of the last year, which often leads to more medical visits and hospital admissions “.

Finally, the Canadians would be two to five times more likely not to obtain their prescription drugs due to cost, in comparison with ” the people who live in countries comparable where there is a regime of universal drug insurance, such as the United Kingdom “. “In Canada, prescription drugs are the third rank of the highest prices in the world “, one can read in the program.

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