Prescription pills in plastic medicine bottles. (© Can Stock Photo / piedmont_photo)

Over 220,000 Already Benefiting From New Drug Plan

Hundreds of thousands of young people in Ontario are already taking advantage of the province’s new drug coverage guidelines.

The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care reports over 220,000 people under the age of 25 have had their prescriptions filled for free, since the start of OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare on January 1.  In that time, a total of total of 350,000 prescriptions have been processed.

“It’s exciting to see the significant impact that OHIP+ is making in the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across Ontario,” says Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins in a statement.

Over four million young people in the province are now covered by OHIP+ and have access to prescription drugs at no cost. More than 4,400 medications are covered in the new guidelines, including diabetic test strips, insulin, asthma inhalers, EpiPens, and oral contraceptives, as well as those that treat anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and ADHD.

“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,” says Hoskins.

A recent report by the Conference Board of Canada says that before OHIP+ took effect, around 1.2-million Canadians under 25 had no prescription coverage.

Ontario is the first province to offer the coverage and enrollment is automatic. All a patient has to do is present their valid health card to the pharmacy with a prescription for an eligible medication.

The government of Ontario’s official website has complete information on the program.