The Parliamentary Budget Officer's report estimates setting up a universal program for prescription medications would amount to about $4.2 billion in savings annually in Canada. The report provides estimates of the cost to the federal government for a national pharmacare program based on the list of drugs publicly covered in Quebec. It estimates that of the $28.5 billion spent on prescription drugs in 2015-16, $24.6 billion of that total would have been eligible under a pharmacare program. It also finds that total drug spending under a national pharmacare program would amount to $20.4 billion, if implemented in 2015-16, representing savings of roughly $4.2 billion. The report says the reduced totals would break down this way:
- Government: $11.9 billion;
- Private insurance plans: $9 billion; and
- Patients: $3.6 billion.
Coûts pour le gouvernement fédéral d'un programme national d'assurance-médicaments - Directeur Parlementaire du Budget
Universal pharmacare would save Canadians $4.2B a year, Parliamentary Budget Officer says - CBC News
National pharmacare program would save $4.2 billion annually, budget officer finds - National Post