Best Evidence Webinar: The Logic and Politics of National Pharmacare

Best Evidence Webinar: The Logic and Politics of National Pharmacare

Steve Morgan is a professor of health policy at the University of British Columbia. An economist by training, Dr. Morgan’s research focuses on policies to provide  universal access to appropriately prescribed, affordably priced, and equitably financed prescription drugs. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed research papers, received more than $4 million in peer-reviewed research grants, and provided policy advice to governments across Canada and around the world. Dr. Morgan has won many awards for his work and is an Emmett Hall Laureate (awarded in 2019) for career-long contributions to health system equity, fairness, justice and efficiency in Canada.

This webinar has already taken place. Scroll down to view a video recording of the event. Please note that we experienced some network connectivity issues and the video had to be edited due to this. It was not edited for content in any way.

DATE: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

TIME: 12:00 – 13:00 Pacific Time PST [UTC -7 convert to your local time]

CME CREDITS: MainPro+/MOC Section 1 credits: 1.0You must attend the webinar and complete the evaluation in order to receive your certificate.


By the end of this session, participants should be able to identify and describe:

  • National drug coverage, and how we got here: Canada’s unique position in the world, a country with a universal public health system with no accompanying national drug program.
  • The logic of national Pharmacare:  The advantages it would bring and why it makes sense to provide drug coverage nationally in Canada.
  • Politics of national Pharmacare: What is preventing us from getting there and where are we heading?

  • Melanie Hempel
    Posted at 11:09h, 24 January Reply

    This was a very thorough, informative review of our PharmaCare versus other countries. I am wondering however, how comparable Canada is with respect to “use of evidence” to determine treatment AND eligibility (I know that some of the countries compared, do have restrictions on what type of therapy patients are eligible for based o DX and age (QUALY measurements). I am not sure that people would be ready for such discussions (rationalization). However, perhaps it is enough to reduce costs generally, and to have a healthier population.

    I also found it extremely fascinating how the TINY nation of NZ can actually swing the pharmaceutical firms to their knees in terms of pricing. Is their population not the size of that of BC? Why don’t we have that amount of purchasing power!!

    Anyway, extremely interesting. Would love to be more engaged and work on this. Need to know/learn so much!

    • Alan Cassels @ TI
      Posted at 09:56h, 25 January Reply

      Melanie, Thank you so much for your comments. New Zealand is a unique country, especially in how it manages its national drug coverage program. Some of the cost-saving measures enacted in BC, such as reference-based pricing, have been adopted based on experience in NZ. In BC our policies already consider many factors in determining eligibility for public drug coverage and BC Pharmacare’s Special Authority process is designed to ensure that costs can be kept lower while making sure that patients with unique needs gain access to the drugs they need. Keep watching this space as we present other speakers on topics like this. cheers, Alan Cassels. Communications Director, Therapeutics Initiative

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