Federal Pharmacare Council Recommends Creation of National Drug Agency
Canada should create a new arm’s-length drug agency to oversee national pharmacare and create a list of approved, covered drugs, says a report from the Liberal government’s advisory council.
The eight-page interim report was formally announced this morning. Council chair Dr. Eric Hoskins publicly announced the recommendations from the interim report Wednesday in Toronto, alongside Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor.
Canadians are currently covered by a patchwork of public and private drug plans, with a minority paying out of pocket for their prescriptions. The pharmacare council recommends that a national drug agency to develop a formulary, conduct negotiations with drug manufacturers on price, and evaluate the value-for-money of certain prescription drugs be set up. The council also recommends the agency develop a “comprehensive, evidence-based” formulary.
The report says a national list would help harmonize coverage across Canada. However, the report makes no final decision on whether Canada should adopt a universal, single-payer pharmacare plan.
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