No Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table. One in five households reported a family member who, in the past year, had not taken a prescribed medicine due to its cost.
That’s why, today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Ernie Hudson, Minister of Health and Wellness for the Government of Prince Edward island, announced the signing of the first agreement to accelerate the implementation of national universal pharmacare. Through this agreement, the province will receive $35 million over four years in federal funding, to add new drugs to its list of covered drugs, and lower out of pocket costs for drugs covered under existing public plans for Island residents.
While Prince Edward Island currently operates more than 25 different public drug plans, the list of drugs covered under these plans is less comprehensive than those in other Atlantic provinces and the rest of Canada. Island residents also face some of Canada’s highest co-pays and deductibles for drugs covered on their plans. With the agreement announced today, those who are most vulnerable like uninsured Islanders, seniors, and families with high burden of medication cost will benefit from improved access to drugs and a reduction or removal of copays for some medications.
The Government of Canada will use the result of this improved and more affordable access to prescription drugs for Islanders to inform its work on national universal pharmacare with other provinces and territories. This agreement will also build on the ongoing work to develop a national strategy for drugs for rare diseases.
“This initial agreement on pharmacare will help improve access and lower costs for prescription drugs Islanders need. It will also build on the ongoing work to make drugs more affordable for those living with rare diseases. We will continue to work with other provinces and territories, using lessons learned from this initiative to help develop andimplement national universal pharmacare.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health
"Many Islanders are currently facing challenges to access affordable critical medications they need to live a healthier life. This partnership is an important first step toward providing more affordable access to public drug coverage for Islanders."
The Honourable Ernie Hudson, Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Prince Edward Island
“Prescription drugs are too costly for too many Islanders, and it’s vitally important that we take steps to change that. Making sure that everyone has access to the medication they need is a priority both for our government and for the government here on PEI, and I’m glad we’re able to work together to bring down costs for folks right across the Island.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
What We Heard Report: Public Engagement on the National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases
National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases Online Engagement
National Pharmacare to Make Prescription Drugs More Accessible and Affordable
Final Report of the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare