Premier Wade MacLauchlan announced today that a Liberal Government will improve access to affordable medications for Islanders by implementing a P.E.I. Generic Drug Plan.
“As Liberals we believe that all Islanders, regardless of their personal circumstances, deserve access to the best care possible, including affordable prescriptions,” said the Premier.
Under the P.E.I. Generic Drug Plan, the maximum price for a generic drug prescription would be capped at $19.95. This would apply to all of the more than 1,000 generic drugs on the Provincial Formulary.
The Premier indicated that last year more than 400,000 individual prescriptions were written on P.E.I. for generic drugs.
“When Islanders without drug coverage are prescribed a generic antibiotic for their sick child, for example, they pay an average cost of $40, and sometimes much more,” said the Premier. “Under the P.E.I. Generic Drug Plan, the average prescription cost for generic drugs for Islanders under the age of 65 and without private coverage will be reduced by 50 per cent.”
About one-third of Islanders do not have private drug coverage. Islanders over the age of 65 are covered by the Seniors’ Drug Plan, which caps prescription costs at an even lower amount.
The only exceptions to the P.E.I. Generic Drug Plan will be narcotics, for health and public policy reasons, and drugs for diabetes, which are already covered under a separate plan. The Plan would cost approximately $4 million annually, but is expected to be largely offset by other savings.
“We will pay for it by continuing to work hard, in cooperation with other provincial governments, to reduce the overall cost of the many drugs we fund,” said the Premier. “Better access to required medications will also improve the overall health of Islanders, leading to reduced pressure on our health care system.”
Premier MacLauchlan pledged that implementing this Plan would be the government’s first priority.