OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals say they are moving toward national pharmacare by creating a new national drug agency to lower medication costs.
The federal government says the new agency will help negotiate better drug prices and drive down the cost of medication for Canadians by up to $3 billion in the long term.
The plan, contained in the federal budget, also involves creating a central list of drugs considered cost-effective and a strategy to lower the price of high-cost drugs used to treat rare diseases.
The federal government says prescription-drug spending in Canada has spiked over the past 30 years — up from $2.6 billion in 1985 to $33.7 billion in 2018.
The Liberals say the measures in today's fiscal blueprint will help build a system to ensure Canadians get prescription drugs they need.
The plan comes after a federally struck expert panel issued a report laying out what it called the "building blocks" of pharmacare, including the recommendation that Ottawa oversee an agency to roll out a national drug plan.
- The Canadian Press