December 20, 2017 - On January 1, 2018, 4,400 prescription medications become free
for everyone in Ontario who is age 24 and under through OHIP+. Also, Ontario is
making it easier for families and youth to find out what medications will be covered
new online search tool.
Kathryn McGarry, nurse and MPP for Cambridge, says a new, online friendly tool will
help people quickly and easily search through a list of more than 4,400 publicly
funded medications and other drug products.
"Pharmacare is going to be a game-changer for young people and their families,"
"No longer will young people families have to choose between paying for medication
and other necessities. I know the personal and financial stress that creates. In
the 1990s, our son needed $1,000 a month in medication -- and our family had no
drug benefits from work. No family should have to endure this kind of turmoil, while
at the same time worrying about their child's health."
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 they need to stay healthy. This includes asthma inhalers, antibiotics,
EpiPens, diabetes test strips, contraceptives and drugs to treat depression, anxiety,
epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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.
"We are taking a historic step forward with OHIP+ by eliminating the financial barriers
and ensuring all young people can access the medication they need at no cost. OHIP+
is a major step towards our vision of a national pharmacare program that will help
young people live healthier lives," said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and
- Prescription medications will be covered if they are listed on the Ontario Drug
Benefit formulary or approved for funding through the Exceptional Access Program.
- The province is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+: Children
and Youth Pharmacare.
- Public consultations provided input into the drug search tool. As more public feedback
is received, Ontario will continue to improve and upgrade this search tool.
New drug search tool
Learn about OHIP+
Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care