House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health: Development of a National Pharmacare Program

9 Pages Posted: 2 May 2016

See all articles by Matthew Herder

Matthew Herder

Dalhousie University - Faculties of Medicine and Law

Date Written: May 2, 2016

Abstract

Canada should implement national pharmacare consistent with the principles outlined in the Pharmacare 2020 report. (Morgan et al. 2015a) The best evidence we have shows that national pharmacare will save approximately $7 billion and — more importantly — hundreds of lives each year. (Morgan et al. 2015b)

The issue, then, is not whether to institute national pharmacare, but how. For, even though the need for national pharmacare has been plain since the 1964 Hall Commission, the landscape of medicine and pharmaceuticals has changed dramatically since then.

Of particular note is the pharmaceutical industry’s growing interest in drugs that target relatively small patient populations — often described interchangeably as ‘orphan’, ‘niche’, or ‘specialty’ drugs — in the pursuit of so-called ‘personalized’ or ‘precision medicine.’

This brief focuses specifically on the challenges posed by the push for more personalized medicine. These challenges serve to underscore why national pharmacare is needed, and define some of its essential features.

Keywords: Pharmacare, Canada, Policy

Suggested Citation

Herder, Matthew, House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Health: Development of a National Pharmacare Program (May 2, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2773761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2773761

Matthew Herder (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Faculties of Medicine and Law ( email )

6225 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H7
Canada

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