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More support for national pharmacare program as prescription drug costs grow

Last Updated Oct 29, 2020 at 11:37 am PST

(iStock)
Summary

Many Canadians who rely on prescription medications say they've had to forego some of their refills due to cost

Study finds millions of people have decided to not refill a prescription or to stretch a supply this past year

Angus Reid Institute says there's overwhelming support for national pharmacare plan across Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Many Canadians who rely on prescription medications say they need them, but can’t afford them.

While this is not a new phenomenon, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly complicated the situation for many people as businesses shuttered and people were laid off.

Over the past year, the Angus Reid Institute has found millions of people across the country have decided to not fill a prescription due to the cost.

It’s found that one-in-four Canadian households continues to struggle to fill needed prescription drugs, which is a situation “unimproved from 2015,” when a similar study was done.

While millions of Canadians have just opted to not buy their prescription medication, many others have taken measures to extend what they had because they couldn’t afford to keep the recommended dosage schedule.

Based off these findings, it might not be a surprise, then, to learn the survey has found almost unanimous support for a national pharmacare plan.

The study, which was done in partnership with a number of universities across the country, including UBC and the University of Toronto, also found most Canadians think a pharmacare plan should be a high priority for government.