TORONTO — The premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, has promised that the provincial Liberal party will make prescription drugs free for residents age 65 and older if it is reelected in June. Pharmacy organizations in Canada hailed the announcement.
“Providing prescription drugs at no cost for millions of seniors is going to make life more affordable and help seniors stay healthy and independent,” Wynne said in a statement. “It is the right thing to do for seniors and their families.”
In January the Ontario government implemented OHIP+ Children and Youth Pharmacare, a plan that made thousands of prescription drugs free for Ontarians age 24 and younger.
The program for seniors, which would go into effect August 1, 2019, would eliminate a $100 deductible and co-pays for the 4,400-plus prescription medicines covered by the province’s health plan. Covered conditions include cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
“OPA supports the government’s decision to invest in more care for seniors and provide them with the same health care benefits as youth,” said Andrew Gall, chief executive officer of the Ontario Pharmacists Association.
The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada also gave the plan a thumbs up. “This announcement couldn’t come soon enough, especially for those on fixed incomes, and we believe that seniors will benefit immediately when this policy is implemented,” said Neighbourhood Pharmacies CEO Justin Bates.
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