Canada needs new agency to oversee pharmacare program, panel says

Liberals, NDP set to promise a universal, public program if elected this fall

A federally struck expert panel says the government should create a new agency to oversee rolling out a national pharmacare program.

The panel made two other interim recommendations Tuesday morning, including developing a national list of drugs so coverage is the same across the country and spending to gather better data on prescription medications.

READ MORE: Prescription drug payments eliminated for low-income B.C. residents

The government says it will consider the panel’s interim recommendations while it awaits a final report due this spring.

By fall, pharmacare is to be dangled in front of voters with the New Democrats promising a universal, public program if elected and the Liberals are expected to make a similar campaign pledge.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says drugs are the fastest-growing component in health spending but unlike hospital care and doctors’ visits, most people’s medication needs aren’t covered by public health insurance.

An analysis by the parliamentary budget officer estimated a broad coverage regime would cost $20 billion a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

Lacombe’s CACHS Knights girls come up just short at Provincials

Cold shooting second half prevents Lacombe girls from medal round

Lacombe athletes compete at largest North American cheer event

25,000 athletes were in Dallas in late February

Blackfalds advises residents to watch for spring thaw conditions

Public Works crews are attending to those services affected

WATCH: ‘Napalm Girl’ discusses journey from hatred to forgiveness in Lacombe

Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series welcomed Kim Phuc Phan Thi to Lacombe

Sundre RCMP looking for 4 missing bison

A Sundre bison rancher is missing four bison from January and RCMP ask for help from the public

Targeted methane emission cut rules estimated to save billions, says CERI study

Federal government has proposed regulations for methane emission reductions from oil and gas sector

Celina Caesar-Chavannes quits Liberal caucus, sits as independent MP

The Whitby, Ont., MP has been a vocal supporter of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott

Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

NDP Leader Rachel Notley and United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney have officially launched campaigns

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death seeking full parole

The trial heard that Ryan was dead well before his mother called 911 to say he had stopped breathing

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read