2. It Will Save Lives

Let's be clear. We really shouldn't need any other reason to support national public pharmacare than saving lives. And this is not about access to newer ultra-high-cost drugs, just improving access to run-of-the-mill medication like insulin.

I previously posted in September 2017 about the likely mortality by excluding drug coverage from health care in Canada. I estimated about 225,000 people (or, say, Kitchener) since 1966—an average of about 4000 per year.

The Canadian Federation of Nursing Unions (CFNU) published their report Body Count: The human cost of financial barriers to prescription medications in May 2018. Being far more concerned—and rightly so—with methodological rigour, they found there are 370 to 640 premature deaths from ischemic heart disease every year, 270 to 420 premature deaths among working-age Canadians with diabetes every year, and 550 to 670 premature deaths from all causes among older working-age (55-64) Canadians every year.

Since the CFNU report focused on only small pockets of available evidence (ischemic heat disease, working age diabetics, and workers between 55 and 64), with a bit of extrapolation, suddenly my estimate starts to look like a gross understatement.