The Council of Canadians is raising the political temperature on public pharmacare. They are organizing town halls across Canada, hosted by Avi Lewis and others.
Upcoming pharmacare town halls are happening in BC in Nelson, Powell River, Vancouver and Victoria featuring speakers like Professor Steve Morgan, pharmacare researcher Colleen Fuller, and pharmacist Afshin Jaberi, as well as labour activists and patient and community advocates. RSVP to the Public Pharmacare Now town hall closest to you to hear why we need public pharmacare now and how to make it a reality.
The following town halls are being held:
- Wednesday, May 31 in Nelson at the Nelson United Church at 602 Silica St or on Zoom (RSVP HERE)
- Wednesday, June 7 in Powell River at the Seniors Centre at 6792 Cranberry St or on Zoom (RSVP HERE)
- Thursday, June 8 in Vancouver at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver at 949 W. 49th Ave (RSVP HERE)
- Sunday, June 11 in Victoria at the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd (RSVP HERE)
In BC, people are having to choose between spending their money on food or medicine. According to a 2021 report by the Office of the Seniors' Advocate, 68% of seniors in BC paid out-of-pocket for the costs of their medications in 2020/21, while at the same time 84% of low-income seniors reported running out of money to buy food.
Despite this, Big Pharma corporations continue to make record profits as their greed is siphoning billions of dollars from our pockets. This comes during a time when unlawful extra-billing by for-profit surgical corporations is already costing BC taxpayers federal health funding. It's more clear than ever before - Big Pharma and other for-profit corporations are interfering in our health care only to make more profit for themselves.
The BC Health Coalition alongside co-intervenors has spent the last 14 years successfully fighting off a legal attack on the public health care system launched by Cambie Surgeries Corporation. Over the course of the legal case, Cambie Surgeries claimed privately delivered care would lead to decreased wait times. Time and time again, the evidence in the case showed that health care delivered by for-profit corporations would, in fact, do the opposite and lead to increases in wait times and degradation of the public health care system we all rely on. Rulings against Cambie at both the BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal both confirmed that access to health care should be based on need and not on ability to pay.
A public pharmacare program would ensure care remains based on need. However, it’s clear that we won’t win public pharmacare for all without a fight.
Be sure to RSVP for the town hall closest to you as we collectively fight for a public, universal drug plan that gives access to prescription drugs for all. For more information about the nationwide campaign for public pharmacare, go to publicpharmacare.ca.