Ontario Government Providing Free Prescription Medications for Students

New OHIP+ Will Make Prescription Drugs Free For Everyone    24 and Under

A News Release from the Office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

Posted May 3rd, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Premier Kathleen Wynne met with students at the University of Waterloo today to discuss how Ontario’s new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program will benefit them and their families.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. File photo

Last week, Ontario announced that as part of the 2017 Budget, it is moving to make prescription medications free for all children and youth 24 years of age and younger, regardless of family income. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the proposed program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, including students and young professionals who may not have access to comprehensive drug benefit plans as they pursue postsecondary education or begin their careers.

Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications funded through the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. Medications that will be covered include asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics and oral contraceptives.

Ontario’s drug funding program is already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs, and other vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.

Making prescription medications more affordable for young people and families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.


  • Prescription medications will be covered through OHIP+ if they are listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary/Comparative Drug Index or if they are funded through the Exceptional Access Program.
  • As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $7 billion in health care over the next three years.
  • Ontario is improving access to high-quality health care services for people across the province by investing $1.3 billion over three years to reduce wait times.
  • Ontario is also expanding funding for mental health and addiction initiatives, such as structured psychotherapy, supportive housing and youth services.


“OHIP+ represents the biggest expansion of Medicare in Ontario in more than a generation. We have unveiled a very comprehensive plan for young people 24 and under. Young people who are trying to get a strong start in life need our support — access to free prescription medication will make life more affordable for them when they need it most.”  — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“Ontario is the first Canadian province to introduce universal pharmacare for children and youth. Through OHIP+, we are making health care more affordable for families and providing access to prescription medications that will help millions of young people grow healthy and strong.”  — Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

One response to “Ontario Government Providing Free Prescription Medications for Students

  1. How much did the Wynne government borrow to pull off this cynical election ploy? I hope it is less than what it borrowed to lower hydro rates by borrowing more money on our behalf and taking from the future of the very young people the drug plan is supposed to help in the short run. Liberals have had years to bring in any form of drug plan for Ontario. Frankly, I suggest that many older citizens may need one more than do students. However, an election is not far away. Voters tend to have short memories and love to see taxes, hydro bills, and the like lowered in the short run even if, in the long run, they go deeper in debt. It’s kind of like thanking Wynne for borrowing on our credit cards so we can pay less on our bills in the short run. The cost is high in the end and our youth will pay in the future: big time!!


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