Health Care Activists Advocate Universal Pharmacare on Parliament Hill

More than 100 public health care advocates, including members of the United Steelworkers, visited MPs on Parliament Hill last week to push for universal public pharmacare.  

While Canada has universal health care, this currently does not include prescription medications, with levels of drug coverage varying across the country. This patchwork system leaves many Canadians paying out of pocket for prescription drugs.
 
Nearly one in four Canadians reported that they or someone in their household did not take their medications as prescribed in the past 12 months because of cost, according to information distributed by the Canadian Department of Finance in June 2018. An estimated one million Canadians were forced to cut back on food or heating in order to afford prescription medications.
 
Momentum has been building for universal prescription drug coverage. The federal government appointed an advisory council last year to research options for how to implement such a system. It is due to receive the final report in spring 2019.  Pharmacare will be an issue in the Canadian federal election, scheduled for October 2019.
 
Activists scheduled more than 100 meetings with MPs and other officials on Jan. 29 to advocate for national pharmacare that meets five core principles: that it be comprehensive, affordable, accessible, publicly funded and publicly administered.
 
To read more about the lobbying effort, click here and here.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222