Press Release: MP MacGregor wants Universal Pharmacare for All


February 8, 2019


OTTAWA – Earlier today in the House of Commons Member of Parliament Alistair MacGregor asked the Liberal government when they will keep their promise to implement a fully public, national and universal pharmacare plan.

“The cost of prescription drugs is a major obstacle for those who live on fixed incomes and are not covered by an employer plan,” stated MacGregor. “Millions of Canadians are having to spend less on food in order to afford their prescriptions or are skipping their medicine all-together.”

Canada remains the only major country that offers universal health care without a national drug plan, a perplexing situation from both a health and fiscal perspective. Nearly 22 years ago, the Liberal Party of Canada committed to “develop a national plan and timetable for introducing universal public coverage for medically necessary prescription drugs” (Liberal Red Book, pgs. 7 and 8). Since then, the Liberals have held power for 11 years, enjoying a majority in the House Commons for 9 of them and failing to keep their promise.

“Evidence has been clear for decades that universal pharmacare would expand coverage and improve outcomes, while reducing costs for Canadians, stated MacGregor. “Estimated savings from universal drug coverage for Canadians is measured in the billions, and every health practitioner knows well the negative health impacts on patients who skip medicine because of cost.”

“A national and universal pharmacare plan would have a major positive change in the lives of many Canadians and many people in my riding including Mr. Lorenzen, and that is why I asked today’s question.” Macgregor said.

MARCH 8, 2019 - Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, it was over 20 years ago that the Liberals committed to introducing a universal drug plan, but they failed to act. In the meantime, Mr. Lorenzen in my riding has paid over $25,000 for prescription medication following a surgery.

Liberals lack the political will to get the job done. Enough with the studies. Enough with the expert panels. Enough with the rhetoric.

Will Liberals please tell Mr. Lorenzen, indeed all Canadians, if they are ready to end the empty promises and implement a fully public, national and universal pharmacare plan?

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Jennifer Hermary, Assistant to Alistair MacGregor

1-250-732-1733 or