As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is giving children and youth a better start in life by moving to make prescription medications free through the new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program, MPP Dipika Damerla announced at a press conference at the Shoppers Drug Mart (Hurontario and King).
“The new OHIP+ is a game changer for health care with Ontario leading the way. For the first-time in Canadian history, children and youth will have free access to more than 4400 drugs, including those for treating cancer and rare disease. This is an important first step to universal pharmacare,” she said.
Beginning January 1, 2018, all children and youth 24 years of age or younger will be able to get their prescription medications for free by simply showing their Ontario health card number and a prescription. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.
The proposed new program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, and will help many families to afford the medications their children need to stay healthy.
Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications listed under the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. These include drugs to treat cancer and rare diseases.
Ontario’s drug funding program is already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs, and other vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.
Making prescription medications more affordable for families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.