Chamber PublicationsProvinicial Issues

In recent years, there have been increased calls for implementing a national pharmacare program in Canada. At their annual meeting in July 2017, the Premiers requested that the federal government engage in discussions on establishing a national pharmacare program. In addition, in January 2018 the Ontario government launched a new children and youth pharmacare plan (OHIP+) and have expressed an interest in expanding the program in future.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) supports efforts to improve access to medicines for Ontarians. However, to date, pharmacare proposals, such as OHIP+, have been launched with limited consultations with stakeholders and without sufficient time to carefully assess their efficacy.

An effective pharmaceutical drug program should aim to provide the right drug for the right indication at the right time. It should address outstanding gaps while maintaining the highquality coverage currently enjoyed by the vast majority of Ontarians covered by private drug plans.

In this context, we have developed the following test of principles against which new pharmacare proposals can be evaluated to ensure they constitute effective and sustainable programs:

  • Existing gaps in pharmaceutical coverage are identified and addressed to improve access to medications for those who need it
  • The strengths of the public-private system are leveraged
  • The program is outcomes-oriented and promotes the sustainability and efficacy of the broader health care system
  • Patients are able to access their medications in a timely manner
  • Broad and appropriate access to innovative medications is ensured

Read the full report, entitled Principles for an Effective Pharmacare Program, here.