Alberta intends to opt out of national pharmacare plan

VCC weighs in on the consequences for people living on lower incomes

25 February 2024

The Alberta government says it plans to opt out of the first piece of a national pharmacare program that includes coverage for birth control and diabetes medication.

Meaghon Reid discussed the Alberta government's decision with Global News, saying that the cost of prescription drugs can be an issue for Albertans particularly people living on low incomes, youth and newcomers.

“... a lot of people can’t afford upfront investment in order to get medications and we know that people are skipping medication on a regular basis right now,” Meaghon explains.

“People need to be able to choose how they plan their families. Contraceptives are expensive. A lot of times are not covered under plans like many other drugs they often involve upfront cost for people to pay and they might not have that money at the time. It might be one of the first medications to go if people are really stretched.”

View the full article: Alberta intends to opt out of national pharmacare plan

Also, check out Meaghon's interviews in the Calgary Herald and CBC News Calgary.

A pharmacist in front of shelves of medication

Universal Pharmacare

Did you know that Canada is the only country in the world with universal health care that does not provide universal coverage for prescription drugs? Prescription drug coverage varies depending on which province you live in and from person to person. For the over 20% of Canadians with inadequate coverage, universal pharmacare would mean not having to sacrifice other necessities.