Andrea Horwath's NPD will provide comprehensive universal pharmacare
KINGSTON and OTTAWA – Andrea Horwath and the NDP will provide hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in savings each year to every family, thanks to Ontario's first comprehensive universal pharmacare program.
"Pharmacare is part of health care, and you shouldn't have to rack up debt on your credit card to get the drugs you need," said Andrea Horwath.The New Democrats will save you yet another expense.With pharmacare, you'll get the medications you need with your health card, not your credit card.
“Everyone should afford everyday life.Together, we can ensure families can always get the prescriptions they need filled.We can ensure that never again will anyone in Ontario have to cut their grocery budget to afford their child's medication.»
Through Andrea Horwath's Pharmacare Plan:
- Families will save approximately $350 per year.
- People who need take-home cancer drugs will save thousands of dollars every year – even if they already receive help through provincial drug plans.
- People with great insurance plans, but struggling with a chronic illness, will also save thousands of dollars every year.
- Seniors will save at least $100 each year.
Once elected, Andrea Horwath and the NDP will make pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), birth control and take-home cancer drugs free from day one.Implementation of Canada's first pharmacare plan will begin shortly thereafter.Andrea Horwath also pledges to lead the country toward universal pharmacare, using Ontario's example and her seat on the Council of the Federation to help build a pan-Canadian plan. which Ontario can come to integrate.
In his first week in office, Doug Ford cut pharmacare for young people, then brought together the country's Conservative premiers to stop talks about a national pharmacare plan.
In addition to savings for families, comprehensive universal pharmacare will save the province more than $1,200 per person in hospitalizations, emergency room visits and medical appointments.This will free up $1.8 billion a year, which we can reinvest in the health care system.As for SMEs, they will be able to save at least $835 million thanks to a reduction in the cost of drugs.
Izzy Myers, Kingston
“Currently I have a prescription for 4 different medications on which my survival depends, but I still have to pay out of pocket even though I have a private insurance plan.This adds to the financial pressures I am under and makes living with a chronic health condition even more difficult than it should be.A universal pharmacare plan would ease that stress and give me the certainty of always having access to the essential medications I need to survive.»
Dr. Dick Zoutman, Kingston
“In Canada, prescription drug prices are among the highest in the world.Not being able to afford the medications prescribed for your health can result in you ending up in the hospital.Not being able to afford your medications and ending up in the hospital costs the healthcare system more than if a health insurance program helped pay for your medications before hospitalization became necessary.Too many people in Ontario are struggling to afford their essential prescription drugs – that's just not fair.»
New Democrats believe we need to make prescriptions affordable and accessible for all Ontarians – and Canadians – regardless of your job, age or salary.Canada needs universal, comprehensive national pharmacare, but Ontario can and should lead the way.Ontario families need pharmacare now, and New Democrats will deliver.
- Ontarians face a patchwork and inconsistent set of pharmacare programs, some public and some employer-provided.OHIP Plus is not universal for all Ontarians, although Ontario spends more than $6 billion a year to include some amount of insurance for residents.
- Each year, Ontarians spend hundreds of millions of dollars on prescription drugs.The financial burden has forced a quarter of Canadians to decide not to have their prescription filled or not to have it renewed.
- In 2015, Ontarians paid $2.5 billion out of pocket for prescription drugs, which accounted for 22% of total drug costs in Ontario.
- Canada continues to be the only high-income country with universal health care that does not have a universal prescription drug insurance program.
How We'll Fix It: Universal Pharmacare
- Universal pharmacare will begin with universal coverage for approximately 125 essential drugs.This represents nearly 80% of all prescriptions written in Ontario today.Coverage will grow and expand to become a comprehensive program as savings accrue.Drugs included in the list will be determined through an independent process led by the Drug Evaluation Committee.
- Our plan will provide access to essential medicines for all Ontarians, including the 2.2 million Ontarians who today have no form of drug insurance.The plan will reduce costs for individuals, businesses and municipalities.
- Under our pharmacare plan, no Ontarian will pay a deductible or insurance premium.Our drug plan will be the first drug program to be provided to all Ontarians with no insurance deductible and no insurance premium, removing a significant barrier to accessing prescription drugs.
- Our drug plan will be administered by the Ontario Public Drug Programs Division of the Ministry of Health, which is currently responsible for the Ontario Drug Benefit Program and other such public programs.
- Our pharmacare plan will help reduce reliance on long-term care in facilities, as well as reliance on care in hospitals and emergency care;with adequate medication management supports in the community, seniors will be able to defer admission to long-term care and avoid hospital stays.
- Essential medicines will be chosen based on the demonstrated health needs of Ontarians.These will be commonly prescribed drugs with proven efficacy, safety, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness.Decisions will be based on the best medical data available, if not the most current and highest quality data.
- The Drug Evaluation Committee already has the mandate and expertise to assess the therapeutic value and cost-effectiveness of drug products.We will work with health experts, with patient groups and with the Committee to lead the development of an essential medicines list.
- Based on the Essential Medicines List, the NDP anticipates that Ontario's Public Drug Programs Division will organize tenders for generic drugs and enter into negotiations with major pharmaceutical companies. brand.Ontario's Public Drug Programs Division will undertake these steps independently and free from government influence.The increase in the number of beneficiaries and a dedicated government budget will significantly increase the bargaining power to obtain the best agreements for all Ontarians.
Program costs and implementation
- Our drug plan will include an income-tested co-pay no higher than the co-pays currently made under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program – $6.11 for most people and 2 $.11 for low-income individuals (based on incomes below $19,300 for single seniors and $32,300 for senior couples).This means that thanks to the NDP plan, Ontarians will have access to essential medicines for a maximum co-payment of $6.11 per prescription.
- An NDP government will devote an annual budget of $475 million to the implementation of the pharmacare plan.This calculation is based on the work of Dr. Steve Morgan, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2017.
Savings made by implementing the pharmacare plan
- For families:The most significant effect of free drug distribution was that families were able to make ends meet.According to a pharmacare study undertaken by School Mental Health Ontario, families' ability to afford basic necessities increased by 57%.Participants also reported noticing better health and quality of care.
- According to the most conservative projections, corresponding to savings of $835 million, the NDP projects that individuals will benefit from savings of approximately $201 million.
- In the healthcare system:Our pharmacare plan will save the healthcare system more than $1,200 per person by avoiding healthcare costs related to hospitalizations, intensive care and emergency room visits.
- This will translate into savings of approximately $1.8 billion per year in Ontario, according to an Ontario population-wide projection of the results of the CLEAN Meds study.
- For the government:Our pharmacare plan is expected to save Ontario more than $1.2 billion a year, due to a reduction in the prices of drugs purchased in bulk by the government as single buyer.
- Annual savings would total more than $3 billion ($1.8 + $1.2 billion).Much of the savings associated with reduced drug prices would involve shifting expenditures into the public system, and in terms of avoidance of health care use, all of the savings will be in the publicly funded system.
- For businesses:Through our pharmacare plan, private payers in Ontario will save at least $835 million due to reduced drug costs.Savings to the private sector could amount to up to $1.9 billion.
Perspectives on the PPMOs: table of the situation, financial year 2019/2020, March 2021.
 Angus Reid Institute, “
Access for all: Near universal support for a pharmacare plan covering Canadians' prescription drug costs,” October 29, 2020.
 Ontario Drug Benefit Report 2015-2016, Table 6,
 Steven G. Morgan et al., “Estimated effects of adding universal public coverage of an essential medicines list to existing public drug plans in Canada,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, February 27, 2017.