Interim Report on National Pharmacare Implementation are Steps in the Right Direction Says Surrey Board of Trade

SURREY – On March 6, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released an interim report for the government’s consideration. The Council is leading a national dialogue on how to implement affordable national pharmacare for Canadians – families and employers. The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, announced that the Government has received an interim report from the Council, chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins. The report identifies three initial recommendations for national pharmacare:

  1. Creating a national drug agency to oversee national pharmacare;
  2. Developing a comprehensive, evidence-based list of prescribed drugs – a national formulary – to harmonize coverage across Canada; and
  3. Investing in data on prescription drugs and information technology systems.The Government of Canada will consider the Council’s initial recommendations while it awaits the final report, due in Spring 2019.

“The Surrey Board of Trade applauds the six principles in the interim Hoskins report and the three initial steps toward pharmacare implementation,” said Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade CEO.

“The current model for pharmacare – where 14 different formularies of drugs exist in Canada – is costing businesses across the country.”

“With a single-payer system of universal pharmacare, employers could use the savings to enhance their coverage of other services, such as mental health, vision care, dental care, hearing care, and physiotherapy.”

“The Surrey Board of Trade’s position originates from our members indicating serious concerns relating to high, uncontrolled costs of private drug plans, increasing operational expenses. This is a burden on companies that offer drug coverage for their employees and can be an impediment for some companies to offer any coverage at all.”

The Surrey Board of Trade wants an implementation of a single-payer universal pharmacare program seen through to completion. No comparable country separates the management of pharmaceuticals from the management of the rest of the health system.

“The only other concern is that the word ‘explore’ is being used instead of ‘implement’ in the interim report. I believe we have waited long enough. Let’s get it done,” said Anita Huberman.


For more information:

Contact: Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,