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The National Pharmacare Initiative (NPI)

Ensuring affordable access to pharmaceuticals is not a new challenge in Canadian health care. The rapid emergence of new innovative medicines that offer greatly improved quality of life, extended survival rates and, in some cases, cures and vaccines for serious diseases offer unprecedented opportunities for patients. At the same time, concern regarding the cost of pharmaceuticals and the desire to guarantee access as part of universal health care has reached historic levels.

Governments and other stakeholders are moving quickly toward action. In the interest of supporting and informing this historic debate and the decisions that will follow, we are excited to advise that The Conference Board of Canada’s Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC), will launch the National Pharmacare Initiative (NPI) on May 10, 2018. NPI will be chaired by Fred Horne, principal of Horne and Associates and former Alberta Health Minister.

Leader’s Roundtable on National Pharmacare

The NPI will begin with a Leader’s Roundtable on June 12, 2018 in Ottawa to develop consensus on key design principles for the development and evaluation of any universal pharmacare program. These include foundational principles, access standards, criteria and methodology for evaluating funding and delivery models and an innovation and investment strategy. This will include a proposed definition of “pharmacare” in a Canadian context. Participation is by invitation. A post-roundtable Policy White Paper will be produced immediately after the Roundtable event and shared with key stakeholders, decision-makers, and the broader public.

Other NPI Activities

Other activities planned under NPI include evidence-informed commentary and other research and dialogue that will emerge over the course of the initiative. The NPI will culminate in the National Pharmacare Summit on November 22, 2018 in Toronto, with meeting proceedings to be published shortly after.