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Drug Coverage Needs Overhaul

The prescription drug coverage system in Canada is clearly in need of a major overhaul, with unequal pricing, rising costs, and a patchwork of drug coverage offered to Canadians. If action is not taken soon, it will not be around for future generations, says a Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) public policy paper. ‘Ensuring the Accessibility, Affordability, and Sustainability of Prescription Drugs in Canada’ sets out actionable recommendations for reform. As a priority, it recommends that the federal agency that regulates prices for new drugs be fundamentally reformed to drive prices down. As well, discussions need to start on creating a common, national, minimum list of drugs that will be covered for all Canadians and governments must lead a discussion to work towards the creation of a new, collaborative, approach to approving and paying for very rare orphan drugs. Frank Swedlove, CLHIA president, says "the current patchwork of systems across the country inflates costs, creates a great deal of confusion, and even worse, results in significant financial hardship for some Canadians with respect to the cost of drugs."

Courtesy of Benefits and Pensions Monitor website News Alerts

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