March 23, 2022
OTTAWA — NDP health critic Don Davies says he expects the Liberal government to make good its renewed promise to deliver national pharmacare, but perhaps not all at once.
The Liberals have promised in their new confidence and supply agreement with the NDP that they will pass a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of next year.
They have also agreed to task the National Drug Agency with the development of a national formulary of essential medicines and bulk purchasing plan by the time the deal ends in 2025.
In exchange for movement on pharmacare and a host of other NDP priorities, the opposition party has agreed to support the minority Liberal government through confidence votes, which means they would remain in power for three more years.
Liberals made pharmacare a core part of their 2019 election platform, but by the 2021 campaign they gave it barely a mention. Pharmacare was also missing from the last throne speech.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos would not comment on how he plans to approach the promised legislation, but says he looks forward to collaborating with the NDP.
Davies says he doesn’t necessarily expect to see a universal, national program tabled as part of the legislation, but rather see it built up over many years.