14 November 2023
Reports from both the House of Commons health committee and the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare recommended a fully public plan. [...] The 2022 Liberal-NDP Supply and Confidence Agreement promises to ensure “continuing progress towards a universal national pharmacare program by passing a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of 2023….” This is a good thing. [...] First, PBO assumes that the total cost of patented drugs will instantly drop to the lowest provincial price, and then brand-name drug manufacturers will immediately volunteer “an additional discount” of 20 per cent on all products now paid by employer plans and out of pocket. [...] Even a small erosion of those savings will eliminate the purported societal benefit of about 5 percent of costs. [...] To recap, the PBO report uses a fully public drug plan and a provincial formulary that will cost governments billions, while shifting billions in new costs to patients.