The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)
November 28, 2015
Thank you for your letter concerning our position on cancer care in the province. The NDP believes that cancer drugs should be available to and covered for all Canadian residents no matter where they live. We have a patchwork of coverage across the country, and it’s clear that the Atlantic Provinces are falling behind.
Our understanding is that Newfoundland and Labrador has poor coverage for oral cancer treatments that can be taken at home instead of through costly IV procedures in hospital. We recognize that prescription drug costs are rising and governments need to keep manage those costs, this should not be done on the backs of families who cannot get enough coverage through private insurance or NLPDP. It is entirely unacceptable that any Canadian should have to go into debt – or choose between necessary Cancer treatment and making ends meet – simply because of the part of the country they live in.
We are aware that other provinces are covering oral cancer treatments, and that this kind of coverage can reduce strain on overburdened healthcare workers and save public money in the long run.
The New Democratic Party is committed to working with organizations and other stakeholders to identify where improvements can be made in cancer drug coverage. We will also lobby the federal government for a national pharmacare program so all Canadians can have equal access to the medications they need.
Leader, NL NDP
New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador
PO Box 8700 Stn A, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 (709) 739-6387