A Lack of Action on Canada’s Drug Pricing could Translate to a Decrease in Health and an Increase in Spending

National prescription drug coverage would provide access to necessary medications to those who cannot afford them. A national drug program, could also save billions of dollars in healthcare expenditure. A 2016 poverty Backgrounder explained that the inability to afford prescription medications poses three problems: increased acute care expenditure over time, tenfold non-adherence to prescribed regimens among those with low household incomes, and inequitable access to necessary drugs. In 2010, Gagnon reported that generic drugs are often referred to as ‘tried and true’, they are often well researched and frequently used. Generic drugs in Canada are more than double the median price in other OECD countries. The current multi-payer system for prescription drug coverage is highly inefficient. Maintaining the status quo would lead to higher expenditures by employers and employees on private insurance plans. Research shows that employers and employees pay steep premiums, which increase labor costs and reduce competition. There is a negative correlation between drug expenditure and research and development of drugs over a 15-year period in Canada. Using the same data, countries who spend 35% less on pharmaceuticals spend more on research and development.