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Local MP pushing for national pharmacare

Last Updated Apr 17, 2016 at 8:12 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Unlike other nations, Canada doesn't buy drugs in bulk; NDP MP Don Davies feels we should rethink that policy

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you skipped buying a prescription because you couldn’t afford it?

The MP for Vancouver-Kingsway is attempting to get the feds to bring in national pharmacare.

From asthma medications to drugs intended to prevent strokes, as individuals, we end up spending a lot more on prescriptions than people in other countries.

That’s because unlike other nations, we don’t buy our drugs in bulk — and NDP MP Don Davies says we should rethink that policy.

“We’re paying far too much, and it’s leaving 7 million Canadians with no coverage or very poor coverage for pharmaceuticals,” says Davies.

Davies points to the asthma medication Fluticasone, which costs on average $45 here, compared to just $15 in New Zealand.

“There’s different models around the world,” says Davies. “So we want to look at that — countries like New Zealand or any of the OECD countries — all have different models of universal coverage.”

Following a motion from Davies, the parliamentary health committee agreed to study this issue — it’s expected to report back in the fall.