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Singh accuses Trudeau government of deliberately stalling national Pharmacare program

Jagmeet Singh stands with supporters at conference, rally for support in Burnaby-South on January 6th, 2019. (Taran Parmar, NEWS 1130)

Federal NDP leader claims national Pharmacare plans stalled after meetings between government staff and drug lobbyists

Preferential treatment that we're seeing with SNC-Lavalin doesn't seem to just extend to one company: Jagmeet Singh

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – The federal NDP leader is suggesting plans for a national Pharmacare program have been deliberately side-railed by the Trudeau government.

Jagmeet Singh claims drug lobbyists met with government staff more than 680 times before changes that could reduce costs as much as 20 per cent were ‘indefinitely postponed.’

“Minor changes that would have significant cost savings haven’t been done,” he told NEWS 1130 in an interview on Wednesday after calling on Trudeau’s government to take action that would lower prescription drug costs.

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“They’ve abandoned Canadians in terms of fair prices and now it looks like they’re not even pursuing what we believe should happen as a universal coverage system for all medications.”

Singh says simple changes to the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board would reduce drug prices as much as 20 per cent.

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He compares it to the SNC-Lavalin affair, which has been dogging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government for over a week.

“Preferential treatment that we’re seeing with SNC-Lavalin doesn’t seem to just extend to one company,” he added.

“There’s also evidence that this extended to the pharmaceutical industry to lobby the government and the effect of that is there haven’t been the steps that we were looking forward to see that would protect the prices.”

Singh, who’s currently running in the Burnaby South by-election for his first seat in Parliament, voted in the advance poll on Friday. He’s campaigning Saturday with Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who was the MP for the riding before running in the municipal election.