Drugs are the second biggest expenditure in health care, after hospitals, yet there are huge gaps in coverage with 20% of Canadians struggling to pay for their medications. Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal coverage for prescription drugs. Canada presently relies on a patchwork of more than 100 government-run drug insurance programs and more than 100,000 private drug insurance plans, which can create large gaps and disparities regarding the availability and affordability of prescription drugs.
Jeff Yurek is a pharmacist, co-owner of Yurek Pharmacy Ltd, and former Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). After Graduating from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 1995, Jeff joined the family business. He and his brother, Peter, purchased the pharmacy in 1996 and instituted a growth plan that today includes two retail pharmacies, a mobility shop, and a specialty pharmacy delivering IV and medical supplies for the Home and Community Care Support Services South West. In 2011, after years of decline in our province, Jeff wanted to make a change to pursue the nomination for the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party for the riding of Elgin-Middlesex-London. Elected, he served for a decade during which Jeff served many roles including the official health critic of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition. Jeff introduced and unanimously passed Ryan’s Law which protected asthmatic students while at school. After forming government in 2018, Jeff served as Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. In addition to sitting on several legislative and cabinet committees, Jeff continued to serve his constituents with the support of a team of dedicated staff who shared his commitment to public service. By intention, Jeff chose to embrace the values and practice of authentic leadership. He follows the simple mantra to Say what you mean - Mean what you say and - Do what you say. Jeff strives to grow his people by his example - self-awareness, transparency, and balanced decision-making. He has distinguished himself throughout his career for his unwavering commitment to doing the right thing; a philosophy has served Jeff well as a community member, pharmacist, and parliamentarian and in turn has served all those who have relied upon him.
Joseph Berger leads McKesson Canada's through leadership and research work, as the senior director of government affairs. Since arriving in 2017, Joseph has helped McKesson Canada navigate the opportunities and challenges related to healthcare public policy in Canada, working on issues including national pharmacare, generic and brand drug price compression, medication distribution, a national rare disease drug strategy, pharmacist scope of practice, COVID-19 response, and more. Joseph has a Master’s degree in public policy and public administration, and has written extensively on social policy issues related to higher education, healthcare, and federal-provincial policymaking in Canada. At McKesson he has written several research reports and white papers outlining enterprise positions on issues of significance to Canadians. He is deeply interested in exploring how the entire healthcare sector, including both public entities and private corporations, can work collaboratively to improve health outcomes for all, exploring how issues of equity and access to care can be addressed to better Canadian society.
Mike Sullivan co-founded Cubic Health in 2003 and serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Cubic provides plan analytics and clinically based solutions to self-insured health benefit plans. Cubic focuses on optimizing the health of both plan members and the underlying benefits plan itself. Cubic’s unique capabilities in terms of augmenting claims data and implementing customized, evidence-based solutions is driven by its proprietary analytics infrastructure and Cubic’s team of Clinical Pharmacists, Data Engineers, Data Scientists, and Software Developers. Mike began his career as a Community Pharmacist and has previous experience working in both the pharmaceutical and benefits consulting industries. Mike graduated from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan and was honoured with a Centennial Alumni of Influence Award. He completed his Master of Business Administration degree from York University where he specialized in Finance. Mike currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. He is a frequent speaker, both domestically and internationally, on topics related to health benefit plans for groups such as the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute and the Conference Board of Canada.