More Than 4 Million Children and Youth Now Have Access to Over 4,400 Prescription Drugs for Free
News from the Government of Ontario
Posted January 17h, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Only 11 days into the new year, more than 220,000 young people age 24 years and under have had their prescriptions filled at no cost through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.
On January 1, Ontario made the biggest expansion to medicare in a generation by providing drug coverage to over four million children and youth. More than 350,000 prescriptions have been filled to date under OHIP+ and the numbers continue to grow, making a real difference in the lives of people and families across the province.
Under OHIP+, more than 4,400 medications are covered, including asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPens, insulin, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, some medications to treat childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and many others.
All people need to do is present their Ontario health card number along with a valid prescription for an eligible medication at an Ontario pharmacy and the medicine will be provided free of charge.
A recent Conference Board of Canada report estimated that 1.2 million people in Ontario age 24 years and under did not have any drug coverage before OHIP+.
Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 years and under. Enrolment is automatic and there is no annual deductible or co-payment.
- OHIP+ covers prescription medications listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary and additional medications eligible for funding through the Exceptional Access Program if an individual qualifies and it is prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Ontario’s public drug programs already help to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs and other vulnerable populations — marking one of the many ways Ontario is leading a national discussion on the future shape of pharmacare in Canada.
“It’s exciting to see the significant impact that OHIP+ is making in the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across Ontario. By providing access to more than 4,400 prescription medications at no cost to all children and youth age 24 and under, we are removing the financial barriers that can prevent them from getting the essential care they need to stay healthy. It’s an important first step towards our vision of a universal pharmacare system for everyone in Ontario. ” — Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Organizations that support our most vulnerable population are seeing the benefit of incredible programs like OHIP+. Massey Centre once covered medication costs of clients who could not afford them, but now, with OHIP+, we can put that money towards our services that help hundreds of young moms, their children and families in our community. “
— Ekau Asabea Blair, CEO, Massey Centre
“It is an ease on the mind and pocket knowing my children are taken care of in that area. ” — Creig Treloar, young father of two young children
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