Pharmacare brings relief from prescription drug costs

Grant Wyand, Pharmacare acting manager

Supporting Island families -

Grant Wyand doesn’t want the cost of prescription medicines to prevent Islanders from accessing them.

Through the Pharmacare program, the Prince Edward Island government is working to help Islanders with the costs of prescription medications, along with certain medical supplies and pharmacy services. Wyand is the acting manager of Pharmacare.

“The overarching approach to Pharmacare is that we try to assist as many Islanders as possible with drug costs that might be impacting their personal finances,” Wyand said. Islanders with a valid PEI Health Card may be eligible to receive either partial or full coverage through one of the provincial government’s drug cost assistance programs.

Assistance is based on certain disease states, financial need, or demographics.

  • For those over age 65 with a valid health card, the Seniors Drug Program allows participants to pay no more than $15.94 for each eligible prescription. Seniors can buy a 90-day supply at one time.
  • For those under age 65 with a valid health card (and no private drug insurance) there’s the Generic Drug Program. The program limits out-of-pocket costs for eligible generic prescription drugs to $19.95. These medications are also eligible to be dispensed as a 90-day supply.

For those whose finances simply don’t allow them to meet the high costs of medications, the Pharmacare system has targeted programs like the Family Health Benefit Program, the Catastrophic Drug Program, and the Financial Assistance Drug Program. A complete listing of Prince Edward Island’s drug programs is available online.

“It’s a challenge to keep up with all that occurs in the medication world,” Wyand notes. “New medications enter the Canadian market on a regular basis and prescribers and patients want them paid for right away.

"We consistently review our programs and eligible medications to help out as many people as we can.”

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