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Minister of Health proposes legislation for first phase of national universal pharmacare

Authored byRyan Wong

On February 29, 2024, the Minister of Health announced the introduction of Bill C-64, An Act respecting pharmacare (Pharmacare Act), which “proposes the foundational principles for first phase of national universal pharmacare in Canada and describes the Government of Canada’s intent to work with provinces and territories (PTs) to provide universal, single-payer coverage for a number of contraception and diabetes medications.” Health Canada also provided a list of contraceptives (medications and devices) and a list of diabetes medications to be discussed with PTs.

Additionally, Bill C-64 provides that the new Canadian Drug Agency (previously discussed) will develop a national formulary and a national bulk purchasing strategy. The Canadian Drug Agency will also support the publication of a pan-Canadian strategy regarding the appropriate use of prescription medications.

Finally, the Minister would establish an expert committee to make recommendations on operations and financing of the national universal pharmacare.

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The preceding is intended as a timely update on Canadian intellectual property and life sciences regulatory law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. To obtain such advice, please communicate with our offices directly.