- 公益社団法人 日本薬学会
- YAKUGAKU ZASSHI (ISSN:00316903)
- vol.140, no.11, pp.1365-1372, 2020-11-01 (Released:2020-11-01)
Japan's health care system can be regarded as one of the best worldwide, provided it remains sustainable. It has relatively low costs, short wait times, low disease incidence, and high life expectancy. However, universal coverage in Japan faces financial challenges due to the country's rapidly aging population. Canada is another of the few developed countries that have universal health coverage. In contrast to Japan, Canada's health care spending is still sustainable according to recent studies. Effective cost control by payers has played a major role, with providers being steered toward evidence-based and cost-effective drug therapies. Furthermore, expanded pharmacy services have been important in suppressing spending on prescription drugs and minor health care services such as vaccination, government-funded smoking cessation, and medication review programs. This article outlines the services provided by Canadian pharmacists with expanded scope of practice. The pharmaceutical profession and its advocacy body in Canada have not only played a role in regulatory changes, but also put in place technological infrastructure called PharmaNet and contributed to appropriate prescribing. Given the current economic situation and demographic trends in Japan, more options should be explored in order to maintain universal health coverage by meeting the funding gap. Utilizing community pharmacies and pharmacists is proposed as one option.