October 12, 2018

National pharmacare – Together, we can get it right

National pharmacare is a key federal government priority. For this reason, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare was established earlier this year. The Council's objective is to provide independent advice to the government on the best approach to implementing a national pharmacare program.

Finding a model that works for all Canadians is what matters the most. As the largest provider of Group Benefits in Canada, we support access to affordable medicines for all. While the current system is working well, we recognize that there are opportunities to enhance it, by addressing the rising cost of prescription medicines and placing a greater focus on Canadians who have limited to no coverage.

We are taking an active role in paving the way towards a system that builds upon the strengths and assets of the public and private sectors – a system that is affordable, achievable and protects the workplace benefit plans that are highly valued and relied upon by millions of Canadians. 

New Bright Paper: National Pharmacare – Getting it right
To lead the discussion on national pharmacare and highlight the importance of finding a model that works for every Canadian, we have developed a Bright Paper which we invite you to download and read today!

Here's how we are proposing to help pave the way towards a national pharmacare model: 

  • A national standard of coverage for all – Workplace plans will continue to provide drug coverage for millions of Canadians, but governments can work together to expand public plans to those without drug coverage. Governments can also develop a standard list of medicines that all plans must offer – whether public or private – with the ability for plans to offer more medicines at their discretion.
  • Coverage for catastrophic medicines – As costs for specialty drugs continue to rise as a proportion of overall drug spending, it is vital for any national pharmacare program to recognize the needs of Canadians who rely on these lifesaving medicines. As part of a national pharmacare solution, if the government were to provide coverage for these catastrophic medicines, this could be the best way towards a sustainable, standardised access for all Canadians.
  • Common and equitable pricing – Private insurers can come together with the federal and provincial governments through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance to maximize bulk purchasing power and help ensure the lowest prescription costs for all Canadians. We also support changes underway to protect Canadians from excessive prices through the drug-pricing regulator, the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board.

Join the conversation!
Tag Sun Life (@SunLifeCA) and use the hashtag #NationalPharmacare on social media to share your thoughts on what a national pharmacare model should look like.

Contact your Sun Life Financial group retirement services representative.