The CSQ and many other organizations were on Parliament Hill in Ottawa this past March 1. Together, they urged the federal government to implement a universal public drug insurance plan.
The message they conveyed to the government was quite clear: “It is crucial that Ottawa avoid replicating the hybrid model currently seen in Québec, where the coexistence of a great number of private and public drug insurance plans has led to skyrocketing costs and significant inequities.”
“The exorbitant increase in prescription drug costs puts the sustainability of all our insurance plans at risk, said Sonia Ethier1. This threat to our social security systems has become the goose that lays the golden egg for certain industries and it is absolutely vital that we put a stop to it!”
Lobbying places additional pressure
Given this social mobilization, powerful lobbies are doing their best to block the implementation of a Canada-wide universal public drug insurance plan. The American pharmaceutical lobby has even asked that Canada be put on the “priority watch list” of the Office of the US Trade Representative.
1 Sonia Ethier is President of the CSQ.
2 Coalition solidarité santé.