The Canadian Medical Association Journal published research in 2012 that showed one in ten Canadians report they skip doses or decide not to fill prescriptions because of cost.[i]
If elected to government, what will your party do to make prescription medications more affordable?
· This is a huge concern for us, and we do need to work with all parties to tackle this issue. Many drugs are covered for low-income Manitobans, but many are not and we need to ensure cost is not a barrier to access to medication. Along with our mental health issues crisis is the biggest issue facing our medical system today.
A key element of ensuring timely treatment for a cancer patient is ensuring they have access to the medications they need at the time they need them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Manitoba.
If elected to government, will you commit to ensuring that all cancer patients in Manitoba receive timely access to medications at the time they need it?
· Timely access to care and medications. Those that do not have a strong advocate are left to fend for themselves and this during the most stressful time in their life. We must strengthen the system to ensure people are getting access as quickly as possible.
a) A new study[ii] released in July 2015 makes a compelling case for expanding our universal public health care system to include the cost of prescription medicines. In addition, a recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute[iii] found that more than 90 per cent of Canadians back the concept of pharmacare.
What is your party’s position on the creation of a national pharmacare program?
· We agree and it now becomes a case of political will. We must of course engage the federal government to ensure they are coming to the table. Provincial budgets are stretched, in part because the federal government retains the lions-share of tax dollars.
b) How will your party ensure that a national pharmacare program will not reduce the number of prescription medicines available to patients?
· We cannot move backwards and must add not subtract from the medications available
c) Will your party support a new federal equalization payment for national pharmacare so that all provinces are able to cover the same comprehensive range of prescription drugs, with timely new additions on a regular basis?
· Absolutely, and to that end we are the only party in Manitoba with a true working relationship with the Trudeau government.
Director of Communications
Manitoba Liberal Party