Over 197,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every year, including 5,500 people in Saskatchewan, with approximately 2,400 dying of cancer each year. Clearly, this life-threatening illness affects entire communities, especially families, friends and co-workers.
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) is a national network of patients, families, survivors, friends, families, community partners and sponsors. Its mission is to work together by taking action to promote the very best standard of care, support, follow up and quality of life for patients and survivors. It aims to educate the public and policy makers about cancer survivorship and encourage research on ways to alleviate barriers to optimal cancer care in Canada.
The government of Saskatchewan has an important role to play in making sure that everyone diagnosed with cancer has timely access to cancer care and essential medical services as well as access to emergency rooms and the treatment and medications they need.
We invite you to respond to the following questions related to cancer care and healthcare in Saskatchewan. Your responses will be circulated to cancer patients and survivors in Saskatchewan and posted on our website, www.survivornet.ca and on our social media.
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?
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 Saskatchewan.
If elected to government, will you commit to ensuring that all cancer patients in Saskatchewan receive timely access to medications at the time they need it?
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.
a) What is your party’s position on the creation of a national pharmacare program?
b) How will your party ensure that a national pharmacare program will not reduce the number of prescription medicines available to patients?
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?
We thank you for your attention to this important matter.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
[ii] The Future of Drug Coverage in Canada, Pharmacare 2020, July 15, 2015
[iii] Prescription drug access and affordability an issue for nearly a quarter of all Canadian households, http://angusreid.org/prescription-drugs-canada/