CFNU: Who opposes pharmacare and why- a new report exposes The Big Money Club

March 13, 2019

March 13, 2019 (OTTAWA) – Canada’s nurses released a new report today, titled The Big Money Club: Revealing the Players and Their Campaign to Stop Pharmacare. Authored by Canadian academic Dr. Sharon Batt, the report is an exposé on the role of deep-pocketed corporate players in the campaign to prevent Canada from adopting a common sense pharmacare plan.

“The public should be aware of the powerful interests throwing huge sums of money at the campaign to stop pharmacare,” said Linda Silas, President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). “Big decisions will be made this year on prescription drug coverage. It’s crucial that the Canadian government stay laser-focused on the delivery of public pharmacare for everyone and avoid the temptation of cozying up to wealthy interests.”

The Big Money Club details a major spike in lobbying activity by pharmaceutical and insurance industry the same year that the federal government launched the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare. The current multi-payer system, which involves over 100,000 private health plans, is benefiting pharmaceutical and insurance giants in Canada, while leaving Canadians to foot the bill for a costly and wasteful patchwork system.

“These powerful players stand to lose a lot if universal pharmacare is implemented, and they are ramping up the pressure to protect their profits,” said Silas. “This report reveals troubling financial connections linking billionaires and Big Pharma to think tanks in Canada that have been peddling an anti-pharmacare message without evidence.”

The report reveals that pharmacare’s opposing voices – big pharma, big insurance and big money – are trying to influence Canada’s prescription drug coverage policy towards a hybrid, “fill the gaps” plan. This hybrid model would allow the Big Money Club to continue reaping enormous profits at the expense of governments and the people of Canada.

Silas added, “Canadians expect decisions about the future of our health care system to be based on the best available evidence and the public interest, not on the interests of corporations and the ultra-rich looking to protect huge profits gained from a wasteful and inequitable prescription drug system.”

The CFNU is Canada’s largest nurses’ organization representing nearly 200,000 nurses and student nurses, and advocating on key health priorities and federal engagement in the future of public health care.

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