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View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
This is awesome testimony. Thank you very much for being here.
We could ask a lot of questions, but I'll start with you, Dr. Bechard. You were very eloquent about the impacts of not having a universal pharmacare in place. I will just give one brief example. A family in my riding of New Westminster—Burnaby is paying a $1,000 a month for heart medication. They are now having to choose whether they can continue in their home or if they have to put all of family resources to the heart medication.
You mentioned that national standards and a funding agreement are the two steps. As you probably know, the NDP is bringing forward a private member's bill that would deal with the issue of national standards. What remains, then, are the funding agreements that the federal government needs to negotiate with the provinces.
I guess my question is this. How important is it that this be in this year's budget, that the federal government, in this budget, make sure that the funding foundation is present, so we can move ahead with pharmacare now and not wait another decade for putting in place a valuable program?
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