Without a universal prescription drug plan, coverage in Canada vastly differs depending on where you live. In Saskatchewan, even publicly-funded programs require co-payments or deductibles, which have proven to reduce access.
- 20 percent of respondents in Saskatchewan said they or someone else in their household hadn’t taken medication as prescribed because they couldn’t afford to.
- Public spending in Saskatchewan covers roughly half the cost of prescription medicine.
- An estimated one in three of the province’s 567,600 workers – 204,336 – don’t have health benefits.
- In Canada, only 27 percent of part-time workers have prescription drug coverage. That means that in 2017, about three quarters of Saskatchewan’s 101,600 part-time workers didn’t have prescription drug coverage.
- In Saskatchewan, children in low-income families who qualify for Family Health Benefits are covered for prescription drugs, but adults and legal guardians pay $100 semi-annual deductibles and 35 percent co-payments for each prescription.
- The Children’s Drug Plan covers children 14 and under, and the Seniors' Drug Plan covers seniors, but beneficiaries are still expected to make co-payments of up to $25 per prescription.
- Even charges as low as $2 have been found to be a barrier to taking medication as prescribed.
This patchwork coverage leaves many in Saskatchewan 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.