Our Core Values

The Better Pharmacare Coalition operates on a set of guiding principles that govern its work:

Strengthening and preserving the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship: BC PharmaCare program policies and initiatives must respect and support the independence, effectiveness and privacy of the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship. Decisions affecting the choice of therapy should be made based on informed consultation between the person living with disease or illness and their health care team. Physicians and pharmacists should have evidence-based information on the full range of appropriate therapeutic options available to treat their patients. Patients and consumers should have the same information, but it should be provided in easy-to-read language. No organization or individual should be permitted to violate the confidentiality of the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship.

Transparency and public inclusion in all decision-making processes: The BC PharmaCare program should adhere to principles of administrative fairness in order to ensure transparency and accountability in their decision-making. To achieve this, BCPharmaCare should be able to demonstrate an objective, impartial and unbiased process for policy decision-making by including all stakeholders directly affected by BC PharmaCare policies and initiatives in decision-making processes. Stakeholders include people living with disease or illness, scientific and clinical experts representing Better Pharmacare Coalition member organizations. BC PharmaCare, together with these and other stakeholders as required, should define the process of decision-making from beginning to end.

Appropriate and timely coverage to quality prescription medications: The BC PharmaCare program should work with the Better Pharmacare Coalition and other health stakeholders to develop or reform policy that ensures appropriate and timely coverage for prescription medications and health products for any given disease or medical condition. In recognition that patients and consumers have unique needs and preferences, BC PharmaCare should ensure that physicians and patients are able to choose a prescription medication or health product from the full range available and never compromise this choice for reasons of cost alone.

Evidenced-based information on medicines: It is the responsibility of BC PharmaCare to demonstrate, through validated measurement and evaluation instruments, that its policies and initiatives do not prohibitively restrict reimbursement of prescription medications and, as a direct result, compromise the quality of patient care. New health care policies and initiatives should be studied with great care, in consultation with all health stakeholders, to ensure that such policies preserve, promote, and respect the quality of patient care, cost-effective care, and the patient-physician-pharmacist relationship.

Fairness in BC PharmaCare policies and initiatives: The Better Pharmcare Coalition opposes the implementation of harmful BC PharmaCare policies and initiatives such as Reference-Based Pricing and Therapeutic Substitution. On an ongoing basis, the Better Pharmacare Coalition provides BC PharmaCare with both community-based and clinical evidence-based research demonstrating specific needs of its members. Some evidence might support the need to cease a policy or initiative, while other evidence might support continuation or implementation of policies that are fair and non-detrimental to the health of British Columbians.

Cost-effectiveness not causing harm to patients: The cost pressures on Canada's health care system are real. All stakeholders share responsibility to seek cost-effective means of maintaining and enhancing the quality of health care delivery. However, it is discriminatory not to provide reimbursement to safe and effective prescription medications and health products to prevent or delay disability. In most disease states, it is well documented in the research literature that delaying access to, or denying, the most effective prescription medications to people who need them most increases total costs to the health care system and in other government budgets (e.g. short-, long-term and permanent disability). A collaborative approach to managing health care costs may include patient, physician and pharmacist education that encourages appropriate use of prescription medications and health products, and helps improve integrated care. In addition, the promotion of global, evidence-based medicine will ensure that stakeholders consider the cost impact of health policies and initiatives on all elements of health care delivery, including the prescribing of medicines, visits to physicians, hospitalization, diagnostic testing and chronic care.