Pharmacare 2020: The Future of Drug Coverage in Canada. 15 July 2015
(2015; 23 pages) [French]

Morgan, S.G., D. Martin, MA Gagnon, B Mintzes, J.R. Daw, and J. Lexchin. (2015) Pharmacare 2020: The future of drug coverage in Canada. Vancouver, Pharmaceutical Policy Research Collaboration, University of British Columbia.


The World Health Organization has declared that all nations are obligated to ensure equitable access to necessary medicines through pharmaceutical policies that work in conjunction with broader systems of universal health coverage. To that end, every developed country with a universal health care system provides universal coverage of prescription drugs — except Canada. All Canadians deserve equitable access to necessary medicines. Universal “Pharmacare” — working in conjunction with our “Medicare” system — is the best way to achieve this at a fair and affordable cost to patients and society as a whole.

Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments should commit to a plan that will see full implementation of a public drug plan that is universal, comprehensive, evidence-based, and sustainable. This is Pharmacare for Canada.

Pharmacare is a natural, long-planned component of Canadian Medicare. Full implementation by 2020 is both desirable and feasible. Such a timeline signals firm commitment while allowing time for careful implementation of this important, long-term program.

Evidence from across Canada and around the world shows that Pharmacare is the best system for achieving:

• universal access to necessary medicines

• fair distribution of prescription drug costs

• safe and appropriate prescribing, and

• maximum health benefits per dollar spent.

This report explains why this is the case and therefore why Canadians deserve Pharmacare by 2020.

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