Description: According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), a national pharmacare program with one single public sector payer would cost taxpayers an additional $11 billion in its first year. Currently, prescription drugs are paid through a variety of government, employer, and citizen contributions, with the total governments’ share at 46% and private insurance companies picking up another 40%. Incremental costs of a publicly-funded program are projected to rise to $13.4 billion by year four, though the program would reduce drug prices by creating one large organization with more influence on drug prices.
Date: October 12, 2023
1) Do you have some form of prescription drug coverage while you are at university?
2) Are you and your classmates in favour of a national, single-payer prescription drug program?
3) Page 5-1 of Wiley’s Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision-Making opens with vignette discussing Loblaws and its subsidiary, Shoppers Drug Mart, both of which retail prescription drugs to Canadians. If you were a financial officer at one of these companies, and you were asked to prepare a paper for senior management outlining the company’s position as either for or against the single-payer option, what do you think you would recommend?