To: House of Commons Standing Committee on Health
From: Cannabis Canada Association
Subject: Submission Regarding Access to Medical Cannabis and a National Pharmacare Plan
Fairness and universal access to healthcare are fundamental Canadian values. Canadian patients must have equitable access to their prescribed medicine in all health-care settings, based on need and not the ability to pay.
As Committee members will doubtless have heard from numerous other witnesses, too many Canadians today have either no coverage for prescription drugs or have non-comprehensive coverage. A National Pharmacare Plan, properly designed, would address this situation, producing better health, better quality of life, and better pain control for sick and chronically-ill Canadian patients, as well as creating positive impacts to the social determinants of health, all at a lower total cost for the healthcare system. Medical Cannabis can and should be part of solution.
Cannabis Canada Association’s submission focusses on the importance of ensuring that any National Pharmacare Program includes mechanisms for ensuring access to medical cannabis, which is increasingly important for the treatment of pain and for the management of the symptoms of many illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy, epilepsy, certain anxiety disorders, chronic pain and other conditions. In particular, our submission focusses on the need to ensure that medical cannabis is accessible to all Canadian patients to whom it has been prescribed by a physician. It also highlights research that points to the possibility of significant savings accruing to the health care system and particularly to a National Pharmacare Plan if physicians and patients have access to medical cannabis.