Pharmacy Technician, Amy Dunlop, packaging medications in unit dose. (Photo Courtesy SBGHC)

Free Meds For Younger Ontarians Starting Monday

Starting Monday, Ontario residents under the age of 24 can get their prescription medications for free.

The Ontario government is launching its OHIP-PLUS program January 1. It will cover over 4,000 different medications listed in the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including epi-pens, asthma medications, and antibiotics.

Health Minister Dr Eric Hoskins says the new program covers 4-million children and young adults regardless of how much money their parents make.

“They’re going to be able to go by themselves if they’re adults, or with their parents on their behalf, to any pharmacy in Ontario with a prescription from their health care provider and be able to get those medications free of charge,” says Hoskins.

The program will extend the same coverage to Ontario’s youngest residents as seniors and welfare recipients and is expected to cost taxpayers $465-million a year.

It was announced in the 2017 Ontario budget.

Ontario is the first province in Canada to extend drug coverage, and some consider it the first step toward building a national pharmacare program.

If you are picking up a prescription, you will have to present a valid health card at the pharmacy.