Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Vancouver Kingsway for his continued work and also for his great work on the health committee.
We certainly recognize that Canadians are paying too much for drugs. I think we all agree on both sides of this House that this is certainly a priority we need to address. What we also need to address is access to drugs within this country. Our government is taking that work very seriously.
Yesterday I received my mandate letter from our Prime Minister. I want to read a quote from part of the mandate letter I received that specifically speaks to this.
Work with provinces and territories to:
advance pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation to encourage the adoption of digital health technology to improve access, increase efficiency, and improve outcomes for patients;
improve access to necessary prescription medications. This will include joining with provincial and territorial governments to negotiate common drug prices, reducing the cost Canadian governments pay for these drugs, making them more affordable for Canadians, and exploring the need for a national formulary;
I will continue, as health minister, to work very hard to ensure that we address these needs.