Since the government announced the federal Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare in the 2018 budget, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries have embarked on a lobbying frenzy in Ottawa.
No one knows exactly how much money Big Pharma, Big Insurance and billionaires are funnelling into the anti-pharmacare campaigns. No mechanism exists in Canada to ensure that level of transparency. However, it is possible to gather fragments of evidence that suggest a complex tapestry of lobbying and advertising activity being deployed by these actors to protect their interests.
Shortly after the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health issued its report endorsing publicly funded pharmacare in April 2018, members of Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association challenged the committee’s recommendations at a lobby day event on Parliament Hill. A press release stated that the Standing Committee’s recommendations could “reduce the quality of health benefit plans for millions of people.”