Deb Matthews Statement on Drug Reform

Our government recently announced changes to Ontario’s drug system that will lower the cost of generic drugs and benefit our seniors, patients, employers, unions and those who pay out of pocket for prescription medicines. I’m more confident than ever that these changes are the right thing to do. Right now, Ontarians pay too much for generic drugs, plain and simple. In certain cases, we pay more than five times what some US states pay for the same drug. Our government thinks that’s unfair. That’s why we’re moving to change the system by cutting the cost of generic drugs by at least 50%. We’re going to use the money we save to strengthen our health care system, by investing in important initiatives like home care, long-term care and our hospitals. We’re also going to fund more drugs for our seniors by expanding the number of drugs covered through the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.

Big pharmacy chains have mounted a widespread campaign to oppose our improvements. You have probably already encountered this campaign. I want to correct some of the misinformation that is being circulated and let you to know that the changes we announced include a plan to support Ontario pharmacies and ensure they are fairly compensated for the care they provide. We value the role that pharmacists play in our health care system and we want to help improve pharmacy services in Ontario. That’s why, through our changes, we plan to increase direct payments to pharmacists and boost financial support for pharmacies in rural and underserviced areas.

We’re doing the right thing for all Ontarians, including seniors who want a strong and sustainable drug system. To find out more about how our changes will benefit you and your family, I would encourage you to visit our website, at

Deb Matthews

Keywords: drugs, pricing