Inching towards a Federal Pharmaceutical Plan in Canada: Application of Multiple Streams Theory and Punctuated Equilibrium Theory


  • Vidhi Thakkar Doctoral Candidate, Health Policy University of Toronto Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation


The lack of a national pharmacare strategy in Canada is a pressing health policy issue. Current provincial drug plans are not designed to equitably cover chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Universal pharmacare has cost-saving implications. A recent report by the Canadian Institute for HEalth Information showed that Canadians spent $28.8 billion on prescription drugs. The objective of this paper is to apply Kingdon’s multiple streams theory in the analysis of the lack of a national pharmaceutical strategy. Baumgartner and Jones’ theory of punctuated equilibrium is applied to explain why, despite the momentum building in Canada, there has been stasis in the creation of a national pharmaceutical plan. The paper concludes with a set of necessary and sufficient conditions that provide a context for successful implementation of a national pharmaceutical policy

Author Biography

Vidhi Thakkar, Doctoral Candidate, Health Policy University of Toronto Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation

I am a Doctoral Student in my third year of studies at the Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation.


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How to Cite

Thakkar, V. (2016). Inching towards a Federal Pharmaceutical Plan in Canada: Application of Multiple Streams Theory and Punctuated Equilibrium Theory. Global Health: Annual Review, 1(2). Retrieved from