The Liberals’ Budget 2018 had an exciting surprise: a commitment to put forward a pharmacare plan for Canada.

Universal pharmacare would be a lifesaver for the nearly 1 million Canadians who have to choose between food on the table and urgently needed medicine - but the program could be sabotaged before it even gets off the ground. [1]

The Big Pharma lobby, made up giant corporations like Pfizer and Merck, have a direct line to Liberal ministers - and they’re moving fast. [2-3] Less than a day after the budget dropped, Finance Minister Morneau was already walking back on pharmacare promises. [4]

It’s clear that the government is listening - but it’s up to us to make sure that lobbyists are not the only voices they’re hearing. The only hope we have of competing against the enormous power of Big Pharma, is by coming together and making sure our voices carry all the way to Parliament.

So the question is: should the Leadnow community launch a campaign to fight back against Big Pharma and show our support for universal pharmacare?


Universal pharmacare didn’t rank as a top priority in your Leadnow community survey in January. But that was before the Liberals committed to making a plan for pharmacare. Now we have a clear opportunity to push for real universal coverage.

As a member-driven community, we need your direction. So, Supa, do you think we should dedicate the Leadnow community’s energy and resources into fighting for universal pharmacare?


Why universal pharmacare?
It’s not just the poorest Canadians who would benefit - studies are clear that universal pharmacare offers big advantages for all of us:
  • Universal public coverage guarantees that Canadians can always get the medicine they need, regardless of their income or situation.
  • Equitable access means no more skimping on needed medication - and that means better health outcomes and reduced hospitalizations. [5]
  • Our single-payer healthcare system saves us billions over hybrid models thanks to the strength of bargaining as an entire nation collectively. Universal pharmacare can do the same thing for prescription medicines, bringing down costs by billions every year. [6]

Why now?
Dr. Eric Hoskins, a notable advocate for universal pharmacare, has been selected as the head of the group mandated to put together a plan.[7] They’re due to report back next year, in time to make a decision on whether or not to include a true pharmacare program in the 2019 budget.

Why not?
Our opponents are well-funded and well-organized, and they’ve won this fight before. Big Pharma lobbyists brag openly about their success “sensitizing policy makers to industry concerns” and keeping cheaper but equally effective generic drugs off the market in Canada. [8][9] And their lobbyists are deeply connected to the corporate wing of the Liberal Party. [2][3]

There’s no doubt this will be a tough fight, and there’s always plenty more work to be done on other issues that the Leadnow community cares about.

So, what do you think - should we turn our attention to showing Dr. Hoskins that there is massive support from everyday Canadians in support of universal pharmacare?


Thanks for all you do,

Tim, Logan and Jolan on behalf of the entire Leadnow team

Sources: [1]









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