I rise today to report on our progress to implement the new PEI Generic Drug Plan …. which will give the 35,000 Islanders without private drug coverage much better access to health care.
Mister Speaker, when we announced this program, we said it would be the first thing we would begin work on as a government.
Today I’m pleased to advise that this new plan will go live on October 1.
Under the plan, Islanders under 65 without insurance will have access to more than 1,000 generic drugs on the provincial formulary.
The most they will pay for a generic drug prescription is less than $20…. and their average prescription cost for them will be reduced by 50 per cent.
This will achieve larger objectives Mister Speaker.
First, it will go a long way to improving the health of Islanders who don’t have private or workplace medical insurance.
Access to much-needed medications…. regardless of your personal circumstances…. is fundamental to quality health care.
Secondly, the plan will mean that many Islanders will no longer have to choose between their prescriptions and other essentials.
All uninsured Islanders will automatically be enrolled in the Plan.
When they pay for their prescription at the pharmacy, the system will automatically flag that they are eligible… and the charge to them will be $19.95 or less.
This government has paid careful attention to making medications affordable for Islanders.
As a first step, we implemented the Catastrophic Drug Program to ensure Islanders with serious medical conditions aren’t financially devastated by expensive prescription drugs.
We have added 242 drugs to the provincial formulary since 2007 to provide better access for Islanders with medical needs.
We expanded our Seniors Drug Plan…. which is now one of the most robust plans in the country for people 65 and over.
And now we are closing the gap in coverage for people 65 and under…. and reducing the financial hardship faced by many Islanders with the high cost of prescription drugs.
Mister Speaker, we are now working with the pharmacies to ensure all systems are in place by October 1.
And we will be keeping the public updated as we go along.
Thank you Mister Speaker.