Prince Edward Island

Without a universal prescription drug plan, coverage in Canada vastly differs depending on where you live. Regionally, Atlantic Canada has among the lowest rates of access to prescription medications in the country. In PEI, even publicly-funded programs require dispensing fees or co-payments, which have proven to reduce access.

  • 26 percent of Atlantic Canadians don’t take their medications as prescribed because they can’t afford to.

  • Public spending in PEI covers less than half the cost of prescription medicine.

  • Of the 73,200 in the province working either full or part-time, an estimated one in three – 24,400 – 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 PEI’s 12,400 part-time workers didn’t have prescription drug coverage.

  • PEI’s Seniors Drug Program covers residents over the age of 65; however, there are still two dispensing fees of $8.25 and $7.69 on needed prescriptions. The Generic Drug program is also available to senior residents, but requires out-of-pocket payments up to $19.95.

  • The Family Health Benefit Drug Program, tailored for low-income families, doesn’t cover the cost of dispensing fees.

  • Even charges as low as $2 have been found to be a barrier to taking medication as prescribed.

This patchwork coverage leaves many Islanders 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.

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