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Expanded drug coverage will be good for kids
OTTAWA, April 27, 2017 – The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre are encouraged by the Government’s commitment today to ensuring more children and youth get the medications they need to get and stay healthier.

The new pharmacare plan will especially help vulnerable and lower income families and young Ontarians up to the age 24 who may not have coverage through other means.

The measure announced in today’s provincial budget will help address the fact that at present one in 10 Canadians cannot afford their prescribed medications and therefore cannot pursue proper treatment. This means the very drugs that might help prevent a return visit to the hospital are out of reach for far too many Canadians.

“Over the years I have been dismayed to see many of my young patients not able to get the medications they need in order to get better. This sometimes means having to stay in hospital longer than needed,” says Dr. Lindy Samson, Chief of Staff for CHEO. “No one should have to choose between buying drugs and paying for other essentials, especially when a child’s wellbeing is in the balance,” she added.

Not only that, but in March the CMAJ published that universal public drug coverage would reduce total spending on prescription drugs in Canada by $7.3 billion.

“Canada is the only country with universal health coverage that does not also have universal coverage of prescription drugs,” said Chief Executive Officer for CHEO and OCTC, Alex Munter. “Now at last all Ontario kids will be covered,” he added.

The hospital is also optimistic about the $7 billion increase to healthcare and the 3 percent increase to hospital funding in particular, but will need to further assess what that might mean for CHEO and OCTC.

Similarly, CHEO and OCTC look forward to learning more about the details of this pharmacare policy announcement and its implementation in the days and weeks that follow today’s announcement. The organization is committed to working with all stakeholders and levels of government on policies and programs that make health care more effective and efficient for all Canadians.

For more information please contact:
Alison Evans
Vice-President, Communications
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