Pharmacare Message #2 from your President

February 29, 2024


Dear ACER-CART Colleagues:

I would like to thank all members who have accessed the ACER-CART website and participated in our “Share Your Voice” campaign advocating for a National Pharmacare Program.  We have added more names to your contacts – the three federal party leaders, Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health and Federal and Provincial Ministers of Seniors.

On Friday, February 23, 2024, the federal Liberals and New Democrats announced that a deal had been reached whereby every Canadian with a health card would have access to free diabetes medication and birth control.  The deal includes all insulin for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as well as additional diabetes drugs and as a fund for supplies such as devices for glucose monitoring.

The federal government is forecasting a cost of $800 million for this initial program and discussions are continuing on funding to cover antibiotics, cholesterol medicines, blood pressure medications and psychological medications such as antidepressants.

It is our expectation that the federal government will introduce legislation for a universal, single payer national pharmacare program in early March.  The legislation, to be entitled the Canada Pharmacare Act, will include references to the Canada Health Act, federal legislation that sets out the terms under which the federal government agrees to fund medicine services in Canada.

Canada has a unique distinction of being the only country with universal health care that does not include prescription drug coverage.  Here are some important facts:

  • Canada has the third highest drug costs after the United States and Switzerland
  • One in five Canadians pay out-of-pocket because there is no national pharmacare program
  • One in ten Canadians cannot afford their prescriptions
  • The combined purchasing power of a single negotiator has the potential to save $4 to $11 billion per year (Pharmacare 2020 study)

Having our voices heard is so important.  Even after the legislation is tabled, we need to make sure Members of Parliament know that Canada needs an expanded pharmacare program.  Your voice is needed right now to keep the pressure on the politicians to deliver and push the Canada Pharmacare Act across the finish line.


Express your concerns by contacting your federal and provincial politicians on the easy-to-use letter-writing tool on the ACER-CART website (  Just enter your name, e-mail and postal code.  Click on “Share Your Voice” and read the prepared letter.  Add to it if you wish.  Press SEND and the e-mail will go to all the politicians listed.  You will also receive a copy.

Once again, on behalf of ACER-CART, I thank you in advance for participating in our National Pharmacare Program campaign.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Berryman
President, ACER-CART