NDP introduce bill to protect seniors’ pharmacare

March 27, 2015

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald introduced legislation today to protect Nova Scotia’s Seniors’ Pharmacare Program.

“The Seniors’ Pharmacare ‎Program ensures seniors in Nova Scotia have access to affordable medications. This bill ensures this important program will continue to be there for seniors,” said MacDonald.

The bill enshrines the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program ‎in the Fair Drug Pricing Act. It also enshrines the cost-share ratio used to fund the program at 75:25, split between the government and seniors respectively.

“Without the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program many seniors wouldn’t be able to afford their medications. It’s an important program and we ought to ensure it’s protected,” said Bernie LaRusic, President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners.

MacDonald says enshrining the cost-share ratio will ensure no future government will do what the McNeil government did earlier this year, which is eliminate the funding ratio altogether without any debate in the Legislature. MacDonald says ‎without a cost-share ratio in place the cost of the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program can be downloaded to seniors.

“I’m not sure why the McNeil government thinks seniors can suddenly afford to pay more for pharmacare,” said MacDonald.

‎”The Premier should be focused on finding ways to improve programs for seniors, instead of finding ways to charge them more for what the already receive.”