Learn How CSHP's Recommendations and Principles Align with the Advisory Council's Interim Report on National Pharmacare

By: Amanda Iannaccio


On March 6, the federal government’s Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare presented its interim report. (The final report is expected to be released in the spring of 2019.)

As taken from the report, the Advisory Council recommends the following actions:

  1. Create a national drug agency.
  2. Develop a comprehensive, evidence-based national formulary.
  3. Invest in drug data and information technology (IT) systems.

The report also outlines the core principles for a national pharmacare program:

  1. Ensure that all Canadian residents have access to prescription drugs based on medical need, without financial or other barriers to access;
  2. Ensure that coverage is portable and consistent across all jurisdictions;
  3. Provide access to a comprehensive, evidence-based formulary, with special consideration for drugs for rare diseases;
  4. Be designed and delivered in partnership with patients and citizens;
  5. Be founded on strong partnership between federal, provincial and territorial governments and Indigenous peoples; and,
  6. Include a robust pharmaceutical management system that promotes safety, innovation, value-for-money and the sustainability of prescription drug costs.

Many of these recommendations and the principles align with CSHP’s position statement on a national pharmacare program.

Here is an excerpt from that statement:

The Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) supports the development of a coordinated, national pharmacare program wherein the provision of medically necessary medications is recognized as an insured health service, meeting the primary objective of the Canada Health Act, regardless of where care is received in Canada. Such a pharmacare program would be accessible, portable, comprehensive, publicly administered, universal, and financially sustainable. It should include a national formulary of medically necessary drugs (built on a cornerstone of an essential medicines list). In addition, a pharmacare program should include information systems and decision support tools to assist prescribing and provide equitable access by patients to pharmacists regardless of location.

And finally, CSHP’s Board voted this week to endorse the Statement of Pharmacare Consensus Principles: in doing so CSHP joins with more than 80 other organizations representing a diverse collection of healthcare professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, labour unions, patients, seniors, and academics.