Canadian Cardiovascular Society

On February 29, 2024, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, introduced Bill C-64, An Act respecting pharmacare. Bill C-64 proposes the foundational principles for the first phase of national universal pharmacare in Canada and describes the Government of Canada’s intent to work with provinces and territories to provide universal, single-payer coverage for a number of diabetes medications and contraception.

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society strongly welcomes this announcement, as this first phase of national universal pharmacare will provide 7.5 million uninsured and underinsured Canadians with access to prescription drugs for diabetes. In Canada, 3.7 million people are living with diabetes, which makes them three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. One in ten Canadians with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions report not following their treatment plan due to cost, which the newly introduced Bill C-64 now will help address. “This legislation is a welcome step forward to help many Canadians living with chronic disease proactively reduce their risk of developing heart disease” said Dr. Michelle Graham, President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Alongside the introduction of Bill C-64, Minister Holland also announced the establishment of a committee of experts to make recommendations on the operation and financing of national, universal, single-payer pharmacare in Canada. The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is committed to working with the Minister and the Government of Canada to improve access to prescription medications by people who need them. “Cardiovascular specialists face the reality that people living with heart disease cannot achieve their best health outcomes when they can’t access the drugs that are prescribed. We emphasize the need for a universal pharmacare program to include prescription drugs for heart conditions, and we will work with all governments to achieve this” said Dr. Seema Nagpal, Chief Science Officer at CCS. 

To learn more about Bill C-64, please visit: 

About the Canadian Cardiovascular Society: 

The CCS is the national voice for cardiovascular clinicians and scientists, representing more than 2,500 cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, and other heart health specialists across Canada. We advance heart health for all by setting standards for excellence in heart health and care, building the knowledge and expertise of the heart team, and influencing policy and advocating for the heart health of all Canadians. For further information on the CCS visit: 

For media inquiries, please contact: 

Stephanie Naday 
Director of Communications, Canadian Cardiovascular Society  

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