Mr. Chair, I will stand corrected if I am wrong, but I do not think having a national pharmacare program would make much difference in terms of how we are able to deal with the issue of drug prescriptions, because they are prescribed by doctors and filled by pharmacists and both of those bodies of professionals are obviously governed by provincial legislation.
Yes, export of drugs is dealt with by the federal government in any event, even now, but we are trying to deal with the issue of Internet pharmacies by using the definition of practitioner, because we believe that is the simplest way of dealing with it rather than a cumbersome export permit method that might be available.
On the other issue of national pharmacare, the hon. member suggests that the approach would have been better. Here is what we are trying to do with the national pharmaceutical strategy. The Prime Minister said this one day at Penticton, I believe, if I remember correctly, and I have said this several times. What we are trying to do is put in place building blocks that may over time lead us to a national pharmacare plan.
A national pharmaceutical strategy would include catastrophic drug coverage, speedier drug trials and common drug review. It would include perhaps a common formulary. It would include bulk purchasing. Once we have been able to put all of these things in place, we may not be far away from the idea of a national pharmacare plan even though it still may be run by the provinces in their own jurisdictions.