Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Integrating prescription drugs into Canada’s health care system

In its submission to the Romanow Commission in May 2002, the Ecumenical Health Care Network recommended that prescription drugs be included as a fully funded component of medicare. The Commission noted the wide disparities across Canada in coverage for the high cost of prescription drugs.

As an initial response to this problem, Mr. Romanow has recommended the creation of a Catastrophic Drug Transfer. Under this proposed new program, provinces and territories would receive additional funds to help cover the costs of prescription drug plans and protect Canadians against the potentially “catastrophic” impact of high drug costs.

A new prescription drug comes onto the market in Canada every four to five days. Retail drug sales has become the second largest category of total health spending (after hospitals). In light of these facts, the Commission recommended the creation of a new National Drug Agency to control costs, evaluate new and existing drugs, and ensure quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of all prescription drugs.

The Commission also recommended the establishment of a national listing of prescription drugs to provide consistency across the country, ensure objective assessments of drugs, and contain costs.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Healthcare
Tags: health policy, healthcare, prescription drugs, public health
Author: The Ecumenical Health Care Network of The Canadian Council of Churches