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Letter: Pharmacare necessary at all times

At this time in which tens of thousands of Canadians have lost their incomes it is even more essential

Pharmacare Bill C-213 was voted down in Parliament on Feb. 24 by the Liberal, Conservative and Bloc parties. 

The Liberals have been promising a national pharmacare program for years, including during the last election and in the most recent Speech from the Throne. 

This private member’s bill proposed legal framework for  national pharmacare program. 

Some information about national pharmacare: 

• Polls have shown that the majority of Canadians support the idea of national pharmacare. 

• Canada is the only country with a universal health care system that does not cover prescription medication drugs. 

• The health of many Albertans suffers from not being able to afford their prescription drugs. The health system bears costs from that. 

• One in three working Albertans have no drug benefits and those who do may have to pay expensive deductibles, co-pays and caps on coverage.  

• Pharmacare would save families and others a lot of money and also save $9 billion for employers who would not have to fund employee drug plans.  

• Drug manufacturers and insurance companies lobbied very hard against this bill – as a threat to their enormous profits related to drugs.

• The stated reason for rejecting the bill was that this legal framework would infringe on provincial rights.  

But pharmacare would most likely function similar to our national health care plan. National health care is a federal program funded jointly but implemented by provincial governments.  

With bulk buying by the federal government, pharmaceuticals will cost much less than we pay individually. 

One of the reasons that national health care was implemented was because of costs to families that created financial problems and because families lost the farm to major health costs. 

Pharmacare is necessary at all times to further relieve financial burdens. 

At this time in which tens of thousands of Canadians have lost their incomes it is even more essential. 

Why are our representatives voting in a way that continues huge profits for drug corporations and insurance companies? Why do they not instead push for a national pharmacare plan? 

Ross Dabrusin, 

Mountain View County