Prescription drug expenses in Canada are health-care barrier

Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta

DSC_0002High drug expenses in Canada are a significant barrier for people to access prescription drugs outside of hospital, states an analysis article in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The article, written by University of Calgary researchers was published on September 16.

Canada lacks a national pharmacare program so drug costs are borne by patients themselves, as well as a mix of private and publicly funded drug plans. Even those with insurance may face difficulties affording medications as most insurance plans require copayments by patients, thereby presenting a barrier to accessing needed drugs. While provincial governments cover most or all drug costs for seniors and those receiving social assistance, the “working poor” (households with an annual income less than $29,999) do not have the same benefits, which can result in high rates of noncompliance and failure of patients to fill their prescriptions.

“Some could rightly say that inadequate drug access is…

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