On June 30th, 2018, Christine Elliot, the newly appointed Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, released a statement outlining the proposed changes to the Ontario Drug Benefit program, OHIP+. The Ford government has announced their intentions to change OHIP+ by focusing only on children and youth in Ontario who do not have existing prescription drug benefits.
The newly changed program will no longer cover all Ontarians aged 24 and under but instead only cover eligible prescriptions of children and youth who are not covered by private benefits. Those with existing coverage through private plans would now bill those plans first, with the Ontario government covering all remaining eligible prescription costs.
Asthma Canada is hopeful that these changes will make it easier for all children and youth in Ontario to receive their prescription drugs. We urge the Government of Ontario to ensure a seamless transition that takes place with minimal disruption.
As the lack of access to prescription medications is one of Asthma Canada’s key advocacy priorities, we support movements to close gaps in the healthcare system. We continue to work towards closing all gaps in accessing prescription medications among all age groups in Canada.
At this time, no specific timelines have been provided about when these changes will come into effect. Asthma Canada will provide more information as it becomes available.
On the Federal stage, the Government of Canada is currently inviting all Canadians to join the discussion and share their thoughts and ideas on national pharmacare. If you support a national pharmacare program, we encourage you to:
Your participation will help inform and guide the Government on how best to implement a national pharmacare program.
If you are passionate about the issue of equitable access to prescription medications, we encourage you to share your story and add your voice to that of millions of Canadians demanding universal coverage of prescription medications. Please take part in Asthma Canada’s letter writing campaign by sending a letter to your government representatives letting them know how the lack of access to prescription medications impacts you and your loved ones.