Charlottetown PE, October 30, 2014 – Health care in Atlantic Canada can benefit from acting collaboratively as a region to improve services, says Prince Edward Island Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie.
Today, Minister Currie hosted the Atlantic Summit on Healthcare and Drug Cost Sustainability, which was sponsored by the four Atlantic Provinces and run by the Public Policy Forum. The event involved patient groups, representatives from the drug industry, health providers, the private sector, and other health stakeholders. All four health ministers were in attendance for the session and more than 100 participants attended this regional event.
A focal point of the Summit enabled discussions on the ways in which regional cooperation can help enhance the sustainability of health delivery with a key emphasis on better management of drug costs. The Summit also gave participants the opportunity to share best practices in chronic disease management and innovation in drug policy cooperation.
Key outcomes of the Summit include working collaboratively to:
- develop a plan to increase generic uptake in public and private drug plans;
- develop and implement a strategy for improving regional cooperation in drug purchasing and enhance drug access for Atlantic Canadians.
As a result, Ministers will direct their officials to provide detailed timelines to define potential savings and re-investment objectives. Ministers have asked for an update for their next regional meeting.
“In New Brunswick, we are committed to making life more affordable for our citizens and righting our financial situation. We think there is real opportunity to cooperate with our Atlantic neighbors in the area of prescription drugs to help achieve both of those goals,” says NB’s new Minister of Health, Victor Boudreau.
“Newfoundland and Labrador has experienced firsthand the benefit associated with developing strategies to improve the affordability of pharmaceuticals through well coordinated group purchasing and increasing the focus on finding savings from generic drugs,” says the Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services.
“The growing cost of pharmaceuticals continues to place significant pressure on health care budgets and can impact our citizens’ ability to access and afford the medications they need,” said Leo Glavine, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness. “Lowering drug costs depends on our continued success in working with our Atlantic partners and at the national level, and we continue to see further opportunities to engage the Federal government in a national pharmacare program.”
“As jurisdictions struggle with the rising cost of health care, regional cooperation offers Atlantic Canada a tangible means for savings and re-investment,” said Minister Currie.
For more information contact:
Department of Health and Wellness
Public Policy Forum