A national pharmacare plan has been promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, though getting the plan passed in a minority Parliament may not be the biggest hurdle he faces, with premiers emphasizing that they be allowed to opt-out.
Almost a million low-income Canadian are struggling to pay for prescription medication. Some of them hope the Oct. 21 election results in a government that will help them out by creating a universal pharmacare plan.
The federal NDP's promise to deliver a national universal pharmacare plan by 2020 is "not realistic," according to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who couldn't say what year the Liberals would propose to deliver the program.
Brand-name drug companies could put off introducing new medicine in Canada and scale back research here if the country makes a major shift to cheaper generic alternatives under a national pharmacare plan, according to an internal federal analysis.