Ottawa/Queens Park

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Ontario announced that as part of the 2017 Budget, it is moving to make prescription medications free for all children and youth 24 years of age and younger, regardless of family income. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the proposed program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, including students and young professionals who may not have access to comprehensive drug benefit plans as they pursue postsecondary education or begin their careers. Ontario is the first province to introduce universal phramacare for children and youth (Saskatchewan offers partial coverage up to age 14) with what Premier Wynne says is "the biggest expansion of Medicare in Ontario in more than a generation."

Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications funded through the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. Medications that will be covered include asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics and oral contraceptives.

source: news release, Office of the Premier

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