Public/private partnerships for prescription drug coverage: Policy formulation and outcomes in Quebec's universal drug insurance program, with comparisons to the medicare prescription drug program in the United States

Marie Pascale Pomey, Pierre Gerlier Forest, Howard A. Palley, Elisabeth Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


In January 1997, the government of Quebec, Canada, implemented a public/private prescription drug program that covered the entire population of the province. Under this program, the public sector collaborates with private insurers to protect all Quebecers from the high cost of drugs. This article outlines the principal features and history of the Quebec plan and draws parallels between the factors that led to its emergence and those that led to the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) in the United States. It also discusses the challenges and similarities of both programs and analyzes Quebec's ten years of experience to identify adjustments that may help U.S. policymakers optimize the MMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-498
Number of pages30
JournalMilbank Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007



  • Drug insurance
  • Health care reform
  • Medicare
  • Quebec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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