Canada needs 'defined model' of universal pharmacare, citizen panel urges

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Canada needs a comprehensive system of universal drug coverage to eliminate variations between the provinces and territories, a citizen-driven panel looking at the idea of national pharmacare recommends.

The Citizens’ Reference Panel on Pharmacare in Canada — comprised of 35 volunteers randomly selected from across Canada, similar to a coroner’s jury — met in Ottawa for five days and heard from 20 experts to produce a report on the issue.

The report, entitled “Necessary Medicines”, will be presented today to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health.

“In public opinion research that’s been conducted, Canadians routinely support some form of pharmacare,” panel chair Paul MacLeod said. “But that’s always been a placeholder. We haven’t really had a defined model that Canadians are saying they would endorse. That’s part of what this report provides.”

The…

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