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Feds announce details of national pharmacare program

By Tim Davidson Feb 29, 2024 | 2:14 PM

The first phase of a national pharmacare program has been announced.

It will cover contraception and diabetes treatments.

Health Minister Mark Holland says there is a reason why they chose birth control initially.

“Medicines you need to control your own sexual health is a matter of fundamental justice,” Holland told a news conference Thursday morning at the Centretown Community Health Center in Ottawa.

“Waking up in a country where every single woman has access to the contraception she needs to control her future is an absolutely critical part of having a just society.”

Holland adds the a national pharmacare program will allow people to have the drugs they need without having to make difficult financial choices.

“Talking about patients who are making a decision about whether or not they take their diabetes medication or whether or not they go and get the food they need for their family.  And what happens to that person who doesn’t take their medication.  They wind up with potentially an amputation, a stroke or a heart attack.  They walk out with potentially kidney problems.”

Holland is optimistic that the national pharamcare program will save the health care system more than the program costs.

He was reluctant to put a price tag on it, but says it could be in the range of $1.2 billion annually.

Legislation for the national pharmacare program was introduced in the House of Commons Thursday morning.