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Free Prescription Medications for Children and Youth Through OHIP+

Ontario to Provide the First Universal Drug Program of its Kind in Canada in 2018

NEWS May 1, 2017


As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is giving children and youth a better start in life by moving

to make prescription medications free through the new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare



Beginning January 1, 2018, all children and youth 24 years of age or younger will be able to get

their prescription medications for free by simply showing their Ontario health card number and

a prescription. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.


The proposed new program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four

million children and young people, and will help many families to afford the medications their

children need to stay healthy.


Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than

4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications listed

under the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. These include drugs to treat cancer and rare



Ontario’s drug funding program is already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay

for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs, and other

vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.

Making prescription medications more affordable for families is part of our plan to create jobs,

grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.



“This is a watershed moment for healthcare in Ontario. As the first Canadian province or

territory to introduce universal pharmacare for children and youth, we are making sure that

every young person across the province has access to the medications they need to stay

healthy, feel better and live full lives. We are easing parents’ worries, while making life more

affordable for them.”

–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario


A budget that is balanced and strong, will benefit residents in Brampton-Springdale and across Ontario.

Brampton has a young population with many young families; OHIP+ will provide comprehensive drug

coverage for children, youth, and young adults as part of the new Pharmacare Program. The first

universal drug program will eliminate the financial barriers to prescribed drugs for over four million

youth, regardless of family income, providing assistance in Brampton and across the province."

–– Harinder Malhi, MPP, Brampton-Springdale


“The Children and Youth Pharmacare program is the first universal drug program in Canada for

youth 24 and under, providing access to prescription drugs to over four million young people.

By eliminating financial barriers to prescribed drugs, it will improve access, lead to healthier

lives for our children and youth, and is a major step forward towards universal pharmacare.”


— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“With a growing economy and a balanced budget, we have the flexibility to make investments

in key services that matter most to people. Providing universal pharmacare to Ontario children

and youth is not just an important investment in our future, it’s the right thing to do.”

— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance

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