TORONTO – The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA) applauds the Ontario government for taking the positive step forward to making prescriptions free for people aged 65 years and over.
“Ontario’s pharmacy professionals are the stewards of OHIP+. OPA supports the government’s decision to invest in more care for seniors and provide them with the same healthcare benefits as youth,” says Andrew Gall, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Pharmacists Association.
Under the new program, the requirements for seniors aged 65 and over to pay a $100 annual deductible and a co-pay per prescription will be removed, effective August 2019. For those senior patients with multiple prescriptions, co-pays and deductibles can become barriers to access. It’s critical that this beneficial program is implemented effective immediately to ensure that Ontario’s 2.6 million seniors are able to begin living healthier lives now — ensuring that seniors are able to choose their pharmacy needs based on quality of care rather than price.
“Working on the front lines, pharmacy professionals are key catalysts in our healthcare system, and our seniors deserve the very best care and support we can provide. We have the knowledge and skills to do more for all of our patients – including seniors,” says Cavanagh.
With more than 4,500 pharmacies and more than 15,000 pharmacists in Ontario, pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals, and often a patient’s first point of contact with a healthcare provider. In fact, 94 per cent of Canadians trust their pharmacist with their health. Today’s announcement will ensure that pharmacists will have a greater opportunity to focus on caring for their senior patients, rather than worrying about the financial impacts of medication on some of their most vulnerable patients.