November 30, 2017
With one month to go until 4,400 drugs become free for everyone in Ontario age 24 and under through OHIP+, the province is making it easier to find out what medications will be covered with a new online search tool.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Shoppers Drug Mart to officially launch the new, mobile-friendly tool, which will help people quickly and easily search through a list of more than 4,400 publicly funded medications and other drug products.
With OHIP+, Ontario is the first province to provide prescription medication coverage at no cost for children and youth age 24 and under, helping more people afford the medications that they need to stay healthy. This includes asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, EpiPens, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, medications to treat some childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and thousands of others.
Enrollment will be automatic with no co-payment or annual deductible. Eligible prescriptions can be filled free of charge at any Ontario pharmacy — all that’s needed is an Ontario health card or health card number.
Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“As a physician, I know how difficult it can be for some families to afford the prescription drugs that their children need. Our government is taking a historic step forward with OHIP+ that will ensure all young people can access the medication they need at no cost, to help them live healthier lives.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“People living with diabetes are at high risk of developing serious and costly long-term complications without the proper support. We applaud the Government of Ontario for implementing this program, a first of its kind in Canada, to ensure children and youth have access to the medications they need to live well. This is great news for young Ontarians living with diabetes and we look forward to ensuring that all people with diabetes have access to these medications.”
— Rick Blickstead, President and CEO, Diabetes Canada
"With approximately one in five kids living with asthma, we too easily forget that it can be a very dangerous disease, particularly for families who cannot afford to buy the necessary medications. With the implementation of OHIP+, which will improve access to prescription medications like asthma inhalers, families will now be able to ensure the lung health of their children is not put at risk because of prohibitive costs. The online tools being created to support OHIP+ will also make the program that much easier to navigate, helping patients get the medication they need when they need it."
— George Habib, President and CEO, The Lung Association — Ontario
“Supporting the health and well-being of Ontarians is the primary focus of our Shoppers Drug Mart associates and pharmacists. The launch of OHIP+ and this new online search tool will provide better access to prescription medicine for more Ontarians, helping them to achieve their full potential.”
— Zebrina Kassam, Senior Vice President, Shoppers Drug Mart