Canadians were promised universal pharmacare, what happened?

By The Big Story

In today’s Big Story podcast, universal pharmacare started as a campaign promise. Then it became a key plank of the Liberal-NDP supply and confidence agreement. Then it morphed into drug pricing reforms, which we’re still waiting for. Meanwhile, the organization that helped devise the plan has seen resignations, amid accusations that the federal Liberal government has caved to huge pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Danyaal Raza is a family physician and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine. He joins us to discuss the history of the effort to implement universal pharmacare in Canada, and how close it is now to becoming a reality.

“A lot of folks, myself included, have seen these reforms slowly be stalled and diluted, and then last month become mired in scandal,” he said, “we’re not sure really where they’re going to go now.”

Why has it proven so difficult to improve drug affordability for all Canadians? And how much longer might we need to wait before we see real progress here?

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