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Current Advocacy Priorities

The asthma community is calling on the Government of Canada to continue measures which improve air quality through investment in clean, sustainable energy sources and green technologies.

A Sustainable Clean Air Energy Mix

Asthma Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s plan to establish a Pan-Canadian Carbon Pricing model. We support the initiative to accelerate the transition from coal power to clean energy by 2030. We also support the provision listed in the federal budget that will phase out tax deduction to energy companies doing new explorations in oil and natural gas.

Sustainable, clean energy is necessary for the health, well-being and prosperity of all Canadians. There is no credible path to climate stabilization without a substantial role for clean renewable energies such as nuclear, hydro solar, wind, and geothermal. On behalf of people living with asthma, we support initiatives which promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Asthma Canada will continue advocating for clean air and energy on behalf of our community. Most recently, we have partnered with the the Ontario Public Health Association on the Make It Better Campaign, which centers on creating a unified approach to children’s health and climate change. We are also actively advocating for green public transportation options and will continue raises the voice of the asthma our community on issues related to protecting the air we all breathe.

The asthma community is calling on the Government of Canada to eliminate all gaps in drug coverage and ensure a wide range of treatment options are available based on best health outcomes. This will ensure that every Canadian has access to the medicines they need to lead the best quality of life possible.

Choice and Access to Treatments

Currently, Canada is the only OECD country which has a national healthcare plan that does not include a national drug program for prescription medication[i].  Every year, Canadian prescription drug costs increase faster than that of all other OECD countries[ii][iii].

Asthma Canada supports the Government’s commitment to reduce costs and improve access to necessary prescription medications. In 2020, Asthma Canada continues to advocate for the needs of the Canadian asthma community, calling for lower drug costs through National Pharmacare while also working to protect patient access to innovative medicines in our country.

Asthma Canada continues to advocate and raise awareness about the importance of choice and innovative medicines for the asthma community. We provide input to the federal government through patient evidence submissions on new treatment options and most recently, through a submission to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB).

We believe that all Canadians living with asthma should have equitable and timely access to prescription medications based on the best possible health outcomes rather than ability to pay.

The asthma community is calling on all Provincial Governments in Canada to institute legislation similar to Ryan’s Law that will provide children the right to immediate access their asthma medicines in school, in order to ensure the safety of all children with asthma.

Access to Medicines in Schools

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood in Canada. Asthma is also the top reason why children are admitted to hospital. In Canada, over 20 children die every year from complications related to asthma.

After a concerted effort on the part of Asthma Canada and various advocacy partners, Ontario passed Ryan’s Law in 2015, which, among other provisions, gives children in Ontario the right to carry their asthma medications in school. However, there are no comparable laws in other provinces.

We believe that all Canadian children have the right safe and healthy conditions in school. All Canadian children should have the right to carry their asthma medication with them in school.

In addition, Asthma Canada works to raise awareness about the September Peak – a time during the back to school season when hospitalizations peak among children with asthma, running annual campaigns to keep children with asthma safe.

[i] CMA Submission: National Pharmacare in Canada: Getting There from Here, Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, Canadian Medical Association (CMA), June 1 2016, pg.3.

[ii] “Pharmacare in Canada.” Pharmacare | Pharmacare | Issues. Canadian Doctors for Medicare, August 8 201, http://www.canadiandoctorsformedicare.ca/Pharmacare/pharmacare.html?Itemid=172

[iii] Morgan, S. G., J. R. Daw, and M. R. Law. 2014. Are Income-Based Public Drug Benefit Programs Fit for an Aging Population? IRPP Study 50. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy