Cost Estimate of a Single-payer Universal Drug Plan
This report estimates the total and incremental public cost of a single-payer universal drug plan— “Pharmacare”—over 2023-24 to 2027-28. The estimated cost reflects a national application of Quebec’s Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) formulary with universal access and a copayment scheme.
Our report is based on a national application of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) drug formulary, with universal access and a standardized copayment scheme implemented by a single payer. According to our estimates, the additional cost to the public sector is estimated to be $11.2 billion in 2024-2025, increasing to $13.4 billion in 2027-2028.
The economy-wide savings on drug expenses generated by a single-payer plan would amount to $1.4 billion in 2024-2025, rising to $2.2 billion in 2027-28.
Parliamentary Budget Officer