Children and youth deserve access to safer and more effective medications, says Children’s Healthcare Canada and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada


On June 12th, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its long-anticipated report “A Prescription for Canada: Achieving Pharmacare for All”. The 184-page document calls on the federal government to establish universal, single-payer, public pharmacare in Canada and provides 60 recommendations and a proposed timeline starting in 2019 and extending to full implementation in 2027.

In Canada today, up to 75% of the medications prescribed for children have never been specifically approved for use in children and youth. Further, many medications administered for children and youth are not specifically manufactured for the smaller dosage required. In order to administer these to children, the adult form of the medications need to be altered—split, crushed, dissolved. This “compounding” of medication has resulted in serious variability in effectiveness when used in children. Notably, commercially available pediatric formulations of many medications are manufactured and available in other countries.

“Children’s Healthcare Canada and Pediatric Chairs of Canada have identified access to safe and appropriate medications a priority for children in Canada” says Dr. Bob Connelly, President, Pediatric Chairs of Canada. “It is evident that the Advisory Council has heard the voices of child health stakeholders.”

Specifically, Children’s Healthcare Canada and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada were pleased to see that the Advisory Committee acknowledged:

  • A national formulary include prescription drugs that respond to the specific and unique needs of children and youth

  • A strategy be developed to address the availability of approved drugs and appropriate formulations

Children’s Healthcare Canada and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada applaud the Advisory Council for their report and support recommendations for universal pharmacare for all Canadians. Children and youth in Canada do not only need their medications paid for, they need access to properly evaluated and properly formulated medications. We are pleased that the Advisory Council has recognized and responded to this need.


Emily Gruenwoldt
CEO Children’s Healthcare Canada;
Executive Director, Pediatric Chairs of Canada 

Bob Connelly, MD, MBA, FRCPC
President, Pediatric Chairs of Canada

About Children’s Healthcare Canada
Children’s Healthcare Canada is a national association representing health service delivery organizations serving children and youth. Our members include Children’s Hospitals, Regional Health Authorities, Community Hospitals, Rehabilitation and Children’s Treatment Centres, and Home Care Agencies.  Through purposeful partnerships, we accelerate excellence and innovation in health systems caring for children and youth. 

About the Pediatric Chairs of Canada (PCC)
PCC is the national network of academic leaders in pediatric medicine strengthening the future of pediatrics and improving the health outcomes of all children, by working together to advance evidence-based care, education and research