Canada needs new agency to oversee pharmacare program, panel says

Liberals, NDP set to promise a universal, public program if elected this fall

A federally struck expert panel says the government should create a new agency to oversee rolling out a national pharmacare program.

The panel made two other interim recommendations Tuesday morning, including developing a national list of drugs so coverage is the same across the country and spending to gather better data on prescription medications.

READ MORE: Prescription drug payments eliminated for low-income B.C. residents

The government says it will consider the panel’s interim recommendations while it awaits a final report due this spring.

By fall, pharmacare is to be dangled in front of voters with the New Democrats promising a universal, public program if elected and the Liberals are expected to make a similar campaign pledge.

The Canadian Institute for Health Information says drugs are the fastest-growing component in health spending but unlike hospital care and doctors’ visits, most people’s medication needs aren’t covered by public health insurance.

An analysis by the parliamentary budget officer estimated a broad coverage regime would cost $20 billion a year.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Teens charged in stabbing death of South Surrey man at shopping mall

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of Paul Prestbakmo

Surrey family donates $125K to hospital’s children’s centre, with a 55-day fundraising campaign

Bob Hans says the initiative is meant to coincide with the 550th birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak

Cloverdale-Langley City candidate attended event with blackface characters

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

WestCoast Big Band Festival on the move from Surrey to Vancouver

‘It’s time for our festival to go to the next level,’ organizer says of mid-November event

‘Spooktacular Newton’ to close down part of 137th Street this year

Train rides, face-painting, dancers and more at annual Halloween event hosted by Newton BIA

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

Unionized workers launch ‘open-ended strike’ at three Vancouver hotels

Workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront walked out

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Most Read