Universal Pharmacare Would Make Medicine More Affordable In Canada

Most Canadians would likely agree that those who need potentially life-saving prescription medications should have ready access to them. Yet prescription drug coverage in Canada varies widely depending on where you live, your health status, your income and your age.

Canadians don't like to hear this, but when it comes to pharmaceuticals, our health-insurance system has plenty in common with the United States. In fact, the U.S. is marginally ahead of us where prescription medication is concerned.

Provinces usually cover medications for the very poor, but so does the U.S. system. Provinces also tend to cover seniors, although not as generously as in the U.S. -- since many provinces have, or are in the process of, de-insuring so-called "wealthy" seniors because of budget constraints. Limited provincial drug plans are also riddled with deductibles and co-payments, meaning financial barriers still deter many from getting the drugs they need.