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New agency helps move national pharmacare forward

By Adam Riley Dec 20, 2023 | 3:00 PM

Olga DeLawrence / Unsplash

The Trudeau government continues its efforts of a national pharmacare plan, announcing this week of the creation of the Canadian Drug Agency.

It will be built from the existing Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, in partnership with provinces and territories, and will build upon the current mandate and functions of that agency.

Additionally it will expand into reducing duplication and lack of coordination in the drug system, improving use and prescribing of medications, as well as increasing data collection.

Health Minister Mark Holland says right now there are too many barriers for Canadians to access needed prescription medication.

“At the same time, many Canadians are suffering from being overprescribed medicines that impact both their health and their wallet. The establishment of the Canadian Drug Agency is an important step in supporting the long-term sustainability of Canada’s drug system, improving data quality, and ultimately helping Canadians improve their quality of life and overall health.”

Over the next five years $89.5 million will be invested to establish the CDA in addition to another $34.2 million provided annually which already funds the CADTH.

According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, estimated costs for a single payer system sit at $13.4 billion by 2027-2028, with predicted economy wide savings of $2.2 billion by that same year.