Official Liberal Party Response

Thank you for your inquiry on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network and Dense Breasts Canada in relation to cancer care and health care in PEI. We have addressed your questions in the order they were posted as follows:

Question 1: National Pharmacare

·   If elected, will your government support the implementation of a national pharmacare program that guarantees access to prescription medicines and a coverage plan that goes beyond a formulary that meets the lowest common denominator?

·  If not, please explain how your party will ensure that Islanders will have timely and affordable access to prescription drugs.

The Liberal Team will follow the work of the Advisory Council with interest to see if improvements can be made on PEI with the implementation of a national pharmacare program.  A Liberal Government is supportive of a national pharmacare program. We are seeking assurances that the unique health needs of the people of our province be addressed in the design and implementation of any pan-Canadian pharmaceutical program. We further believe that any program must include a clearly-defined funding role for the federal government that is long-term, adequate, secure, flexible and takes into consideration present and future cost pressures.

Under the leadership of Wade MacLauchlan and the Liberal Government, a number of initiatives have already been introduced to reduce the cost of medications for Islanders, including a seniors’ drug program, a generic drug program, and a catastrophic drug program.

Ensuring Islanders have affordable access to the medication they need, when they need it, is important in achieving overall health and wellness. That is why a Liberal plan proposes to continue investing in improving access and reducing costs, including by expanding the number of drugs covered by the successful Generic Drug Program, which currently serves 21,000 Islanders.

Further, the Liberal team proposes to increase affordable access to medications by eliminating the burden of dispensing fees and cutting the cost of access to generic medications in half for low-income seniors. A Liberal Government under the Leadership of Wade MacLauchlan proposes to improve access to new, innovative medications on the provincial formulary consistent with the coverage available in Atlantic Canada. Through a cooperative partnership with employers, a Liberal Government will implement a province-wide health and benefits plan as a pilot initiative to provide uninsured working Islanders in seasonal industries with access to health and benefits support. Additionally, under a Liberal Government pharmacists’ scope of practice will be widened in a way that will allow these highly-trained health care professionals to provide more services to Islanders. There will also be increased support for Islanders living with diabetes, including for test strips and insulin pumps.

Question 2: Information on Breast Density

· If elected to government, will you commit to notifying all women of their breast density upon receipt of their mammogram reports?

·  If elected to government, will you commit to raising public awareness and education on breast density?

Yes, the Liberal Team has recently announced a commitment to notifying all patients of their breast density upon receipt of their mammogram reports. A Liberal Government is committed to raising public awareness and education on breast density and other means that Islanders can use to catch cancer at its earliest stages. We appreciate that knowledge is power and that putting this information in the hands of Island patients is a step in the right direction to improving outcomes.

Question 3: Cancer and Pesticide Use

·Many Islanders are concerned about the link between cancer and pesticide use in the agricultural industry. If elected to government, what will your party do to address this issue?

The Province of Prince Edward Island has banned selected uses of commercial class pesticides that contain the active ingredient 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Commercial class pesticides containing the active ingredient 2,4-D may not be used to control weeds on residential or commercial lawns, parks, playgrounds, sports fields, specialty turf, or on driveways, walkways, or patios.

Programs such as the Agriculture Stewardship Program and the Nutrient Management Program on PEI are already working and a Liberal Government is committed to continuing to support them. The Agriculture Stewardship Program is a suite of initiatives designed to increase environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation by providing technical and financial support to encourage producers to voluntarily implement Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs).  The Beneficial Management Practices Sub-Program provides support for the implementation of BMPs on a cost-shared and/or per acre funding basis. BMPs and Nutrient Management Plans helps reduce environmental risks.

A Liberal Government will also revise and expand crop insurance programs so that potato growers and growers working in other sectors have the supports they require to mitigate risks of bad growing seasons. In this regard, a Liberal Government is committed to incenting, through a $1 million fund in crop insurance, farmers who implement a variety of practices to improve soil health.

Regards, 

Liberal Party of PEI