A universal pharmacare program could chop more than $10 billion off Canada's annual health-care bill, according to a new policy study that its authors say "explodes the fallacy" that such a plan is unaffordable.
The report, released on Monday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, concludes the existing patchwork of private and public plans in Canada is inequitable, inefficient and costly.
"Canada’s pharmaceutical policies are a total failure," the study's author, Marc-André Gagnon, told reporters on Monday in Ottawa.
The report also finds that Canada is either the third or fourth most expensive country for brand-name drugs every year — ranked among the United States, Switzerland and Germany — because it deliberately inflates drug prices in order to attract pharmaceutical investment.
A pledge to do everything possible to establish a Universal Pharmacare Program may just be the initiative that helps the NDP get past 50 seats.