Getting Control of Health Care Costs: start with pharmaceuticals
The Advisory Committee on the Implementation of a National Pharmacare Program, chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins, recommended on June 12, 2019 that Canada proceed with such a program. John Ivison covered the topic well in Tuesday’s Telegraph Journal.
Canada’s drug spending growth outpaces the rate of growth in costs incurred by hospitals and doctors and amounts to $33.7 billion in 2018 according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information. This is up $4 billion from the previous year! The New Brunswick public purse pays $283 million for drugs; it is fair to estimate that total spending on pharmaceuticals in NB in any year are in the order of $650 million.
That is a lot of money for pills that often do not work or are overpriced, and Canada has the second highest per capita drug costs in the world! Canada is also the only developed country with universal health coverage that does not also have universal pharmacy coverage. Read more here
Ken McGeorge, BS,DHA,CHE is a career health care executive based in Fredericton, NB, Canada.