Hot Topics in Canadian Health  – Tim Clarke l TELUS Health l April 2018

Hot Topics – Today’s List

  • National Pharmacare
  • PMPRB Reform
  • Virtual Care Revolution
  • Technologies (and tech companies) arriving soon


National Pharmacare

A History Lesson – Why Don’t We Have National Pharmacare?

Canada Health Act

  • Why were prescription drugs excluded?
  • Multiple studies recommending some version of pharmacare over the past
    20+ years

What’s different this time?

  • Role of pharmaceuticals in healthcare
  • Cost
  • Public perception
  • Provincial initiatives
  • Potential to save $4.2B (according to the Parliamentary Budget Office)

Dueling Statistics

How many Canadians are under-served by the current system?

Nanos Research

  • “Fewer than 1% of Canadians who received a prescription in the past six months say cost is a contributor to non-adherence”


  • “Overall, 5.5% of Canadians reported being unable to afford 1 or more drugs in the prior year, representing 8.2% of those with at least 1 prescription.”

2018 federal budget

  • “One in ten Canadians cannot afford the prescription drugs they need.”

Bottom line

  • The current system doesn’t work for all Canadians
  • High cost drugs are increasingly a challenge

Breaking News – February 27

Federal budget released

Introduces an “Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare”

  • Led by Eric Hoskins
  • Former Ontario Minister of Health & Long-term Care
  • One of the leaders behind OHIP+
  • Council will “recommend options on how to move forward together on this important

Words that made an impact

  • Pharmacare
  • Implementation

Implication is a plan of action, not just another academic study


Breaking News – March 1

Finance Minister Morneau speaks at the Economic Club of Canada

A new national pharmacare program will:

  • “Deal with the fact that not everyone has access”
  • “Be fiscally responsible”
  • “Fill in the gaps”
  • “Doesn’t throw out the system that we already have”

Translation – we’ll have to wait and see

As of early April, Advisory Council has not been finalized

  • Intent is to reach out to stakeholders
  • Report back to the government in early 2019


Read the full document:  Hot Topics in Canadian Health