Document Type: Commentary
School of Health Policy and Management, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
The movement for a national pharmacare plan in Canada is growing, but at the same time the multinational pharmaceutical companies and their supporters are critical of such a move. The three major arguments that they make are that all that is needed is to “fill in the gaps,” ie, cover those who currently are uninsured or underinsured, that private drug plans are superior to public ones because they cover a larger number of drugs and that Canada cannot afford pharmacare. This commentary examines each of these arguments and makes the case that none of them is valid and that it is time to get on with implementing pharmacare.