Recent advocacy efforts

CNA has a longstanding history of advocating for a national pharmacare program. In advance of the 2019 federal election, CNA launched an election platform that included a recommendation to all political parties to commit to adopting and implementing a universal, single-payer pharmacare program that is sustainable and evidence-based. CNA recommends a comprehensive, universal, public system offering affordable medication coverage that ensures access based on need, not the ability to pay.

Federal advisory council on the implementation of national pharmacare

CNA’s recommendations

Claire Betker (right) and Eric Hoskins (left)Following the June 20, 2018, launch of the pharmacare council, which is chaired by Dr. Eric Hoskins (pictured with CNA president Claire Betker), CNA proposed three recommendations [PDF, 98.7 KB] for its consideration:

  1. That the minister of health introduce legislation to modernize the Food and Drugs Act to remove barriers that prevent NPs and RNs from dispensing drug samples
  2. That the minister of health create a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the scourge of counterfeit prescription drugs
  3. That the federal government lead efforts to educate health-care workers on the importance of medication safety and deprescribing

These recommendations build on CNA’s previous work on pharmacare and, if implemented, will enhance equity, increase safety, and improve access to prescription medications. The council’s final report will be delivered in spring 2019.

CNA’s recommendations supported by the public

On August 21, 2018, CNA released new polling data [PDF, 346.1 KB] from Hill and Knowlton Strategies. According to the report:

Canadians are in favour of changes to how nurses interact with patients, both in terms of dispensing medication as well as providing information on the use of medication.

  1. 63% support allowing qualified registered nurses to dispense drug samples.
  2. 69% support allowing qualified nurse practitioners to dispense drug samples.
  3. 80% support the creation of a federal public awareness campaign featuring nurses to educate the public on the threats of counterfeit medication.
  4. 85% support a new federal initiative to provide nurses with more tools to educate patients on the benefits of deprescribing

Support CNA’s recommendations!

The council invited Canadians to read a discussion paper and make a submission on what a national pharmacare plan should be. The deadline was September 28, 2018. CNA thanks those who supported our recommendations in your submission to the council.

The council plans to deliver its final report in spring 2019 to Canada’s ministers of health and finance.