A pan-Canadian pharmacare approach that includes pharmacy services, provides a sustainable solution for better care
According to a study commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), governments could provide relief to the roughly 10% of Canadians who are not covered, or have inadequate coverage, through private or public drug plans by investing up to $2.15 billion a year in a pan-Canadian pharmacare solution.
The study – which examines the costs and tradeoffs of four proposed pharmacare models – concludes that a pan-Canadian approach, building upon existing public and private programs already in place in the provinces and territories, is the most effective and realistic approach to close the gaps in coverage while protecting patients’ access to medication.
“As federal and provincial health ministers begin their work to look at options for the future of pan-Canadian pharmacare, it’s important that they understand all the implications of the various models on the table,” said Perry Eisenschmid, CEO, Canadian Pharmacists Association, in a news release. “While we’re not for, nor are we against, any particular model, we are concerned that certain approaches could reduce Canadian’s access to the drugs they need to be healthy.”
The report, Pharmacare Costing in Canada, conducted by leading pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement consultancy PDCI Market Access (PDCI), is one of two reports released at an Economic Club of Canada event in Toronto. CPhA also discussed a new study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada which examines the growing and wide-ranging health and economic impacts of expanding access to pharmacy services.
The Conference Board report identifies the unrealized health and economic value in scaling up the key services that community pharmacists provide. According to the report, pharmacists can have a growing and wide-ranging impact in a variety of areas, including managing smoking cessation; flu vaccination; cardiovascular disease (and related conditions); asthma and COPD; neuropsychological (brain) health; medications; and minor ailments (assessing and prescribing).
“Pharmacare has to be about more than just the access to and the cost of drugs. After all, we are talking about pharmaCARE, not pharmaCOST,” said Carlo Berardi, Chair, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “What’s clear is that access to essential pharmacy services must also be a part of the larger pharmacare solution to ensure better health, better care and better value for Canadians.”
The two reports stress the need for health care solutions that ensure Canadians have access to the medications and the care they require. Finding a realistic pharmacare plan that addresses existing gaps in coverage, and takes advantage of the untapped potential of expanded pharmacy services, is the best way to ensure Canadian families see meaningful improvements in long-term health outcomes.
- Pharmacare Costing in Canada: Estimated Costs of Proposed National Pharmacare Programs
o The report, conducted by leading pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement consultancy PDCI Market Access, examines the costs and tradeoffs of four proposed pharmacare models. The report can be found here.
- A Review of Pharmacy Services in Canada and the Health and Economic Evidence
o The report, prepared by the Conference Board of Canada, is the first in a three-part series. The second report will model the health and economic impact of expanding key pharmacy services/programs. The third and final report will explore policy options and recommendations for action around optimizing the scope of pharmacy practice in Canada. The report can be found here.