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February 29 , 2024

NDP delivers free contraception and diabetes drugs as a first step in establishing single payer universal pharmacare

(OTTAWA) — Today, the  NDP are delivering a framework for the next steps of universal pharmacare for Canadians as legislation to establish it is introduced in the House of Commons. As a first step, the NDP has forced the government to cover contraception and diabetes medications and devices free-of-charge for everyone who needs it. These measures can save women and gender-diverse people around $200 a year for contraception and around $1,500 per year for those impacted by diabetes.

“Everyone should have access to the medication they need with their health card, not their credit card. But nearly one in four Canadians have reported splitting pills, skipping doses, or deciding not to renew or fill their prescriptions due to high costs. That’s why the NDP was committed to delivering universal pharmacare for Canadians,” stated Windsor MP Brian Masse.

“No one should ever have to skip their medication, jeopardizing their health, because they don’t have enough money to afford it. The Liberals had promised pharmacare for over three decades, but they always caved into the demands and the interests of big pharma and insurance companies who care more about their own profits than Canadians’ health. Clearly, the Liberals were never going to act unless we forced them to do it. And Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives would cut this crucial health care coverage for Canadians to help their big business buddies—that’s what they do, Conservatives cut,” stated Masse.

The Liberals have been promising to act on pharmacare since 1997 but, until now, no progress has been made to deliver the medication people need free of charge. Canada is the only G7 country in the world with a universal health care system that doesn’t include a pharmacare program. The NDP have been pushing the government through the Supply and Confidence Agreement to deliver a framework for pharmacare to save Canadians and the health care system money.

“What does this mean for Canadians? It means when a mom drops her 9 year-old diabetic daughter off at school, she doesn’t have to worry about her child checking her blood sugars every hour because she’ll have the glucose monitor she needs,” stated Masse. “It means that millions of Canadians will have real agency over their reproductive health.

“The NDP has not only secured the framework for pharmacare that we promised, but we’ve also forced the Liberals to provide free birth control and diabetes drugs to keep more money in Canadians’ pockets—and we won’t stop there. We’ll always fight for improvements to the health care services you and your family depend on. 

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