If the New Democrats win the next general election in Ontario, party leader Andrea Horwath promises the first-ever provincial pharmacare plan.
(City News / Adrian Golombek)
She says it would be in place by 2020 and initially cover 125 ”essential” drugs.
The list will grow as the program expands but no one will lose any current drug coverage and the existing six prescription programs, including seniors, will remain.
An independent drug committee would determine just which drugs would be covered, but prescriptions for conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, allergies, birth control and HIV, would be included.
Cancer drugs are not expected to be covered.
Some 2.2-million Ontarians have no coverage at all and an estimated one-in-four patients cannot afford their medications and don’t take them.
Horwath says the plan would cost $475-million-a-year but that it could save the private sector close to $2-billion in employee drug benefit costs.