This story appeared in the final report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of Pharmacare, A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All

I have a rare form of leukemia. Prognosis and survival are determined by sorting through a slew of predictive factors; how you respond to treatment is as varied as there are patients. “Luckily,” there are some very good treatment options available. They are life changing, but staggeringly expensive.

Initially, this wasn’t a problem as my husband’s work benefits covered the drug. However, eventually, the president of the company was informed by the insurance provider that “someone” on the company plan was taking a very expensive drug. The carrier decided to boost the premiums for the coming year. He was displeased.

Unaware that I was the patient, the president grumbled to my husband about ferreting out who this person was, not knowing he was speaking to her spouse.

We’re still not clear about how he found out it was me, but once he did, he made it his mission to get rid of my husband.

Thankfully, my husband is working again, but we worry that it may happen again. His new company's carrier increased premiums due to rising costs of "some patients’ drugs" – at least not just me this time. Senior management at this company does display empathy to employees and their families. We hope the sentiment lasts!

How is it in a country like Canada that employers seem to have the unfettered right to fire someone due to an illness in the family?