Without a universal prescription drug plan, coverage in Canada vastly differs depending on where you live. In Manitoba, access to public coverage is based on your family income and requires a deductible, which has proven to reduce access.
- 19 percent of Manitobans said they or someone else in their household hadn’t taken medication as prescribed because they couldn’t afford to.
- Public spending in Manitoba covers less than half the cost of prescription medicine.
- An estimated one in three of the province’s 636,200 workers – 212,066 – don’t have health benefits.
- In Canada, only about 27 percent of part-time workers have prescription drug coverage. That means that in 2015, about three quarters of Manitoba’s 121,500 part-time workers didn’t have prescription drug coverage.
- The Manitoba Pharmacare Program covers all residents seriously affected by high prescription drug costs. Level of coverage is based on total family income, and the amount paid for prescription drugs. Recipients still pay an annual Pharmacare deductible adjusted to family income.
- Even charges as low as $2 have been found to be a barrier to taking medication as prescribed.
This patchwork coverage leaves many Manitobans without access to the medication they need, either because they don’t have a prescription drug plan or have plans that don’t cover the cost.
Everyone should have equal access to the prescription drugs they need regardless of where they live. It’s time for a universal prescription drug plan.