CUPE to attend important Pharmacare conference

On May 24 and 25, CUPE representatives will attend an important conference in Ottawa, on the future of Pharmacare. Rethinking Drug Coverage – Time for Universal Pharmacare? is an event hosted by the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) and Carleton University that will bring together researchers, government officials, health professionals, unions and other civil society organizations.

Prescription drugs account for the second highest share of Canadian health care spending. Many governments are asking hard questions about receiving the best value for money, and ensuring the sought-after health outcomes for this increased spending.

There are also serious access issues – as many as eight million Canadians have no drug insurance coverage. Pharmaceuticals management in the public interest is necessary for the sustainability of the health care system in general and for public drug plans in particular.

This conference will bring together national and international perspectives and experiences. Topics for discussion will be guided by three goals: ensure universal and equitable access, improve the safety and appropriate use of drugs, and ensure the cost of drugs is sustainable for public finances.

We hope this conference will be an important step building momentum for a universal public drug plan.

CUPE is also supporting the event by sponsoring the lunch on Saturday.

Studies have shown that implementing a public Pharmacare system, along with more generics and a bulk-buying system, would cost much less – saving Canadians ten billion dollars a year.