Skip to main content

Insights | Blog

The Federal Cabinet Zeroes in on Affordability Issues

The federal cabinet maintains a laser-sharp focus on housing and affordability issues and the PMPRB publishes the 7th edition of its annual Meds Entry Watch Report. On that, and more, here is your Syntax Weekly Health Round-Up. 

On the Hill

  • The House of Commons and the Senate are adjourned for the summer. The House is scheduled to return on Monday, September 18, while the Senate is scheduled to return on Tuesday, September 19.

Around Government 

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal cabinet held their summer retreat in Charlottetown, where the focus was undoubtedly on affordability issues. The Prime Minister and his team emerged from the retreat with a clear message focused squarely on millennial voters: the federal government will roll up its sleeves to get housing built and ensure young adults, who lost two years of development and career advancement to COVID, feel they can set themselves up for success in the future. Part of that affordability agenda will inevitably include pharmacare, for which Health Minister Mark Holland has hinted legislation will be coming this fall.
  • The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) published the 7th edition of its annual Meds Entry Watch report this week. The analysis finds that the number of new medicines launched in Canada is higher than the median for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries but falls below the median of the 11 PMPRB comparators. Most new medicines come to market with high treatment costs, and specialty medicines such as biologic, orphan, and cancer treatments continue to make up a growing share of the new drug landscape.

Around the Dominion

  • The Government of Nova Scotia announced that updated healthcare data is now available on the Action for Health website. New additions include an indicator to track progress in reducing red tape and unnecessary administrative burdens for doctors, staff, and patients through legislative changes and improved processes and forms. The Action for Health website is updated quarterly:
  • The Government of Ontario announced it is increasing provincial funding for public health agencies to build a robust public health sector that has the support and resources needed to connect people to faster, more convenient care in their communities. Starting January 1, 2024, the province will restore $47 million in provincial annual base funding for public health units. The province is also providing local public health units with an annual one per cent funding increase over the next three years so they can more effectively plan ahead and prepare.
  • The Government of Ontario announced the opening of a new Youth Wellness Hub in Sarnia, making it faster and easier for young people in and around Lambton County to connect to mental health, substance use, and primary care closer to home. The Hub is one of the eight new hubs the government is adding to the 14 already operating and connecting youth to mental health services across the province.

Return to top