Innovative Medicines Canada statement on proposed pharmacare legislation

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a concerned mother making a phone call while she reviews her pharmacy bills

Ottawa, February 29, 2024 – Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) is concerned with the federal government’s intent in Bill C-64, An Act respecting pharmacare (Pharmacare Act), to incrementally implement a universal, single-payer pharmacare system in Canada.

“Canadians should be concerned about the impact of the proposed pharmacare model on their existing public and private drug coverage,” said David Renwick, Interim President of Innovative Medicines Canada. “Moving provinces towards a single-payer system, where drug coverage could be reduced to the lowest common denominator, would limit patient access to new treatments. We also have questions about the growing role of the federal government in determining drug coverage, which is an area of provincial jurisdiction, and the potential cost at a time when our health-care system has other pressing funding priorities.”

According to a Conference Board of Canada report, 97.2 per cent of Canadians are already eligible for some form of prescription drug coverage in Canada. The federal government can fill gaps in this system by building on its successful agreement with Prince Edward Island that has not only resulted in better access to new medicines for residents and reduced out-of-pocket costs, but also respects provincial jurisdiction over health care.

While we are still carefully considering the broader implications of the federal bill, we continue to encourage all governments to focus on improving timely access to innovative medicines for Canadians.

About Innovative Medicines Canada

Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. The association represents 48 companies that invest nearly $1.4 billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8 billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.

For further information:

Marise Varanda
Director, Media Relations & Content
Telephone: 613-462-5367


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