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Federal Election 2019

Keeping you informed during the 2019 federal election

Almost 1 in 2 Canadians knows someone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and we want to know how political parties plan to address important issues impacting them. Leading up to the federal election, we’re sharing how parties plan to improve the health of Canadians facing the most common men’s cancer.

Here’s how the parties stack up:
1. Do you support establishing single-payer, public pharmacare in Canada? How will you ensure the national pharmacare formulary includes the most effective prostate cancer medications that treat the disease, symptoms, and treatment side effects?

Green Party response  (Julia Redmond, Policy Researcher)

A universal, single-payer national pharmacare program is urgently needed. No Canadian should have to make a choice between filling the prescriptions they need and paying rent or putting food on the table for their family. Greens were the first to call for a universal pharmacare system in Canada, and we remain committed to implementing such a program. However, greater federal leadership is needed to ensure these recommendations become a reality. 

We support the recommendations of the Advisory Council for a comprehensive national formulary that meets the needs of all Canadians, regardless of age, sex, income, occupation or health status. This kind of formulary can address the real needs of Canadians, including those suffering from prostate cancer.

New Democratic Party response

Decades of Conservative and Liberal cuts and inaction have left too many Canadians digging deep into their pockets to pay for prescription medication. This means that people are not buying the medication they are prescribed because they cannot afford it. This especially hurts Canadians who have high health costs.

Instead of making things better, Trudeau Liberals have only offered empty promises and consistently delayed efforts to implement universal pharmacare. 

The Scheer Conservatives have ruled out pharmacare – suggesting that Canadians are on their own, whether or not they can afford high medication costs.

It's time that Canadians have a federal government that’s in it for them.

Jagmeet Singh and the NDP have a bold vision to provide Canadians with head to toe coverage. 
Affordable health care is our top priority – this is why we’re making a historic investment in universal pharmacare. 

Our pharmacare plan ensures that all Canadians will have access to prescribed medication, at no cost. An NDP government will invest $10 billion in our pharmacare plan. 

We believe that the national formulary is best managed by an arm’s length agency that evaluates medications for coverage based on what is scientifically proven to be safe and effective, and based on the best value for money.

NDP Candidate Don Davis, Vancouver Kingsway

Canada’s New Democrats are strongly committed to implementing a universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan that will cover every Canadian by 2020 – saving money and improving outcomes. This will include coverage for effective prostate cancer medications that treat the disease, symptoms, and treatment side effects.
2. How do you plan on improving timely access to cancer drugs, while also ensuring patient safety? Drug approval processes are lengthy, forcing patients to wait years before accessing a new treatment that could save or prolong their lives. 

Green Party response (Julia Redmond, Policy Researcher)

The GPC will complement universal pharmacare by creating a bulk drug purchasing agency and shortening drug patent protection times. We would also apply the approach of the UBC Therapeutics Initiative to ensure the meticulous review of new medications before they are approved. This will certify the efficacy of new drugs and prevent registering drugs that hurt more people than they help.

New Democratic Party response

Liberal and Conservative governments have proven that when in government, they will only help their wealthy friends and corporations.

The NDP believes that it’s time to take the political interference out of the decisions and work to implement universal pharmacare. We want an arm’s length body that would be insulated from marketing and political pressures. Decisions should be based on clinical evidence, patient safety, and value for money, not the number of times that organizations meet with government officials.
The arm’s length agency would be responsible for ensuring a timely process to evaluate and approve public coverage for new medicines or, for example, treatment for prostate cancer.

NDP Candidate Don Davis, Vancouver Kingsway

Under our plan for universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare, formulary listing decisions will ultimately be determined by an arm’s length agency that evaluates drugs for coverage based on what is scientifically proven to be safe and effective, and based on the best value for money. This body will be insulated from marketing and political pressures – decisions will be based on clinical evidence.
An NDP government will support increased research and development, especially in Canada’s universities, and better Health Canada resources to expedite the approval of safe, effective treatments.
3. How would you advocate for more equitable access to cancer interventions for all Canadians? Currently, access to necessary services, such as treatments and testing, vary across Canada. For example, the PSA test for early detection is not funded in Ontario or British Columbia, and only some provinces include a vital drug for advanced disease, abiraterone acetate, on their formularies.

Green Party response

The Green Party believes that collaboration between the provinces and territories would facilitate more equal access to quality care for Canadians across the country. Healthcare providers and healthcare decision-makers require better data sharing and standardization of quality indicators across provincial and territorial borders in order to optimize the quality of care being delivered to Canadians.

A Green government will support the model of collaborative federalism on this and other higher order policy priorities, working with and ensuring fair treatment for provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous Peoples by establishing a Council of Canadian Governments. This intergovernmental forum will provide a venue to discuss how to provide services in a way that is equal for all Canadians, no matter where they live. Our demographic-based health transfers, described above in question 1, will ensure that healthcare is delivered to meet real, existing needs.

New Democratic Party response

The NDP’s plan for universal pharmacare is the first step towards equitable access for cancer interventions because it means people can receive care regardless of their postal code or age or income level.

While the Conservatives have ruled out pharmacare and the Liberals continue to stall meaningful work on implementing pharmacare, New Democrats have a plan that would expand care for all Canadians.
Our $10 billion annual investment in pharmacare will take pressure off provincial budgets. This will show provinces and territories that we are serious about working collaboratively to develop a national formulary and ensure that there are national standards for equitable access to care across the country.

NDP Candidate Don Davis, Vancouver Kingsway

Under our public health care system, everyone should have access to quality care no matter where they live. But too often, Canadians are receiving different levels of care depending on their place of residence. New Democrats believe that the federal government has a critical role to play in ensuring equal access to necessary services, such as treatments and testing, across Canada. A New Democrat government will work with the provinces and territories to ensure they have sufficient resources to deliver a consistent level of care for all Canadians. Moreover, our universal, comprehensive and public pharmacare plan will ensure every Canadian receives access the medications they need, regardless of where they live.
4. What is your stance on increasing government research funding to stop Canadians dying of prostate cancer and prevent the disease?

Green Party response

The federal government can and should lead the way in demonstrating a better model of health care. It is important that health care challenges are addressed at a federal level and that vulnerable populations receive equal access to care.

Scientific research is the foundation of innovation. The Green Party will invest in scientific research and implement the full funding recommendations from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review. This will support research and innovation in the healthcare sector, including for prostate cancer.

New Democratic Party response

Conservatives and Liberals are racing to the bottom to find ways to cut health care costs rather than investing in people.

The NDP’s plan for a universal pharmacare plan will save Canadians $4.2 billion in prescription costs. We believe the money saved can be better invested elsewhere in the health care system and research funding. 

An NDP government will expand Canada’s position as a leader in innovative health research by working with universities and health professionals to make sure that public research on critical health issues like prostate cancer research continues to flourish.

NDP Candidate Don Davis, Vancouver Kingsway

Canada is a leader in innovative health research, and a New Democrat government work with universities and health professionals to ensure that public research on critical health issues continues to flourish. Targeted federal investments are needed in the area of clinical trials to bridge the gap between discovery research and treatments for human populations. However, it’s also necessary to ensure that federal funding in pharmaceutical research and development results in the creation of drugs and technologies that are affordable. This goal could be achieved by fostering innovative models of health research that prioritize open science.

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