Seniors using the Ontario Drug Benefit Program will not be required to pay any co-payment until July 1, 2020 for any prescription of 30+ days that is now being dispensed in installments.
In addition, existing and new Trillium Drug Program households can apply for an income reassessment to help reduce the financial burden for families during the outbreak.
This announcement comes as a result of a joint letter CARP wrote with the Ontario Pharmacists Association in April. sent to the Ontario Government.
Ontario seniors and pharmacists thank the Ontario government for improving access to medications
TORONTO, May 14, 2020 /CNW/ – On May 13, 2020, Ontario seniors and pharmacists welcomed an announcement from the Ontario government to improve access to medications by removing any additional financial burden that was an unintended consequence as a result of a policy to limit medications to 30 days in an effort to secure the drug supply during the pandemic.
On May 13, the government announced that until June 30, 2020 or when the 30-day supply policy is lifted whichever comes first, Ontario seniors and others who rely on the Ontario Drug Benefit program will not pay a co-payment for eligible prescriptions.
Two months ago, the Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) supported the government’s initiative to move to a 30-day limit on prescription medications to ensure stability in the province’s medication supply during COVID-19. The Ontario government adopted this measure on March 20 and, to date, it has been successful in decreasing supply chain pressures so that medications continue to be available to all Ontarians when they actually need them.
An unfortunate consequence of this policy was the additional financial burden placed on Ontarians through added co-payments, in particular with our vulnerable senior population. As a result, the OPA and the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) urged the Ontario government to find a solution to remove the financial burden for Ontarians while also ensuring that pharmacies could continue to operate without added financial pressures resulting from the policy.
“Today, we want to thank Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Elliott and the Ford government for stepping in and resolving this issue for Ontario seniors and for pharmacists,” says Justin Bates, Chief Executive Officer, OPA. “This has been a very collaborative effort, and Ontario pharmacists are pleased to be able to move forward in caring for their patients while at the same time protecting our drug supply.”
“The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to Ontario seniors. We’re pleased to see that the Ontario government is addressing the unintended cost implications of this otherwise prudent policy,” says Marissa Lennox, Chief Policy Officer for CARP, “With most pharmacies delivering prescriptions so that seniors can remain safe in their homes, this removal of the financial burden will be instrumental in ensuring that they are able to continue with their medication therapy and stay healthy.”
The Ontario Pharmacists Association and CARP want to thank the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott for her partnership and dedication to supporting Ontarians during this challenging time.