Categorized | Canadian Politics

NDP pharmacare plan would start with 125 most common drugs

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

A first-ever provincial Pharmacare plan would be in place by 2020 and initially cover 125 “essential” drugs, the Ontario NDP said Monday in releasing more details on its election platform.

While NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the decision would be up to an independent drug committee to determine, prescriptions for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, allergies, birth control and HIV would be included.

Cancer drugs, however, are not expected to be covered.

The NDP said if elected, it would spend $475 million a year on the program, a cost Horwath noted is one-third of one per cent of the province’s total budget.

“No one should have to rack up credit card bills to get the medicine they need,” said Horwath. “No one should end up in an already-overcrowded hospital because they couldn’t afford to take the medicine they were prescribed. That’s why I’m committed to creating Ontario’s first universal Pharmacare program.”

She said the list of 125 will grow as the program expands.

No one will lose any current drug coverage they have, and the existing six prescription programs, including seniors, and one for catastrophic drug costs families face — will remain.

Some 2.2 million Ontarians have no drug coverage at all, and an estimated one-in-four patients can’t afford their medications and, as a result, don’t take them as prescribed.

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