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May 26, 2020, WEBINAR – The Battle for Universal Pharmacare in Canada Ft. Marc-André Gagnon

May 26, 2020 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

May 26, 2020 – 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Online Registration

$5.00 – Regular Admission
Free – Unwaged/Student

Event Pdf



Drug coverage in Canada is a patchwork; an inequitable inefficient and unsustainable patchwork with no coherence or purpose. Some people think that we can solve the problem by adding more patches, but the core of the problem is that it is a patchwork. For the working population, access to medicines is still organized as privileges offered by employers to their employees. Universal pharmacare would not only provide better access to needed prescription drugs, but also eliminate waste, ensure value-for-money and help improve drug safety and appropriate prescribing. Opponents fear that a universal pharmacare plan would ration drugs, and impede drug access for some patients. However, these claims misunderstand the reality of drug coverage, pricing and access. Opponents propose, instead, to “fill the gap” of current drug coverage by implementing catastrophic coverage, which would serve commercial interests without maximizing health outcomes for the Canadian population. In spite of overwhelming evidence and consensus in the academic community in favour of universal pharmacare, the battle is far from over.

Marc-André Gagnon

Marc-André Gagnon is Associate Professor with Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. He holds a PhD in Political Science from York University and a Master’s of Advanced Study in Economics from Paris-1 Sorbonne and École Normale Supérieure de Fontenay/St-Cloud. He did his post-doctoral training with the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.


His current research focuses mainly on the political economy of the pharmaceutical sector. He analyzes comparative regimes of health and drug coverage, regulatory capture of public institutions, innovation policies and intellectual property in the knowledge-based economy.


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