May 18th, 2022
May 18th, 2022
KINGSTON and OTTAWA – Andrea Horwath and the NDP will deliver hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings for every family every year with Ontario’s first comprehensive Universal Pharmacare program.
“Pharmacare is health care, and you shouldn’t have to rack up credit card charges to get the medicine you need,” said Horwath. “New Democrats will take another cost off your hands. With pharmacare, you’ll get the medicine you need with your OHIP card, not your credit card.
“Everyday people should be able to afford everyday life. Together, we can make sure families can always get the prescriptions they need. We can make sure no one ever again in Ontario has to cut their grocery budget in order to afford their child’s medicine.”
Under Horwath’s Universal Pharmacare plan:
When elected, Horwath and the NDP will make PrEP, birth control and all take-home cancer drugs free on Day 1. Then quickly begin implementation of Canada’s first pharmacare plan. Horwath is also committing to lead the country in creating a national Universal Pharmacare program by using Ontario’s example and seat at the Council of the Federation to help build a Canada-wide plan that Ontario can roll into.
In his first week in government, Ford cut drug coverage for young people, and then rallied Conservative premiers across the country to shut down talks on a national pharmacare plan.
In addition to the savings for families, comprehensive universal pharmacare will save the province more than $1,200 per person every year in hospitalizations, emergency room visits and doctors appointments. That will free up $1.8 billion to reinvest in the health care system every year, and small businesses will save at least $835 million through lower drug costs.
Izzy Myers, Kingston
"I’m currently prescribed four different life-saving medications, but still have to pay out-of-pocket even with private insurance. This adds to the financial stress I feel and makes living with a chronic health condition harder than it needs to be. A universal pharmacare plan would alleviate this stress and ensure that I’d always have access to the essential medicine I need to survive."
Dr. Dick Zoutman, Kingston
"Canada has some of the highest prescription drug prices in the world. Not being able to afford the medications prescribed for your health can result in you ending up in hospital. Not being able to afford your medications and landing in hospital costs the healthcare system more than if a pharmacare program helped to pay for your medications in the first place.
Too many Ontarians have trouble affording their essential prescription medications- this is simply not right."
New Democrats believe that we must make prescriptions affordable and accessible for all Ontarians – and all Canadians – no matter where you work, how old you are, or how much you earn. Canada needs universal and comprehensive national Pharmacare but Ontario can and must lead the way. Ontario families need drug coverage now, and New Democrats will make it happen.
How we’ll fix it: Universal Pharmacare
Costs and Implementation
Savings from Implementing Pharmacare
 2019/20 OPDP At A Glance: Data Report. (March 2021)
 Angus Reid Institute, “Access for all: Near universal support for a pharmacare plan covering Canadians’ prescription drug costs” (October 29, 2020)
 2015/16 Report Card for the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, slide 6, http://health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/drugs/publications/opdp/docs/odb_report_16.pdf
 Morgan et al., “Estimated effects of adding universal public coverage of an essential medicines list to existing public drug plans in Canada,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, February 27, 2017.