Wynne failing to cover medication for Ontarians with diabetes: NDP

During question period on Tuesday, NDP health critic France Gélinas called out Premier Kathleen Wynne for failing Ontarians living with diabetes by excluding them from provincial drug coverage. The NDP has proposed the first universal Pharmacare plan, which will provide drug coverage for all Ontarians, regardless of age or income.

Gélinas participated in an Ontario round table organised by Diabetes Canada on Tuesday, where she found that their number one issue was access to medications and supplies.

“Diabetes is an expensive disease to manage, and high out-of-pocket costs compromise people’s ability to access the medications they need. 

A 60-year-old woman at the meeting told Gélinas how much diabetes medication is costing her. 

“Charlene buys her insulin in vials and mixes it herself before she injects with a needle in order to save money," said Gélinas. 

“She told us that the essential medicines - including insulin - that she needs, are costing her $1,000 a month. And with no public drug coverage, that money comes straight out of her own pocket. 

“Like millions of people across Ontario, 1.5 million diabetic patients need universal Pharmacare that covers everyone – no matter how old you are.

“The NDP has a plan to help them. Why doesn’t the premier?”

The NDP’s universal Pharmacare plan would cover essential and common medications for all.

“With universal Pharmacare, every Ontarian would have drug coverage, no matter how old they are. Universal Pharmacare would save the lives of 830 diabetic patients each and every year in Ontario,” Gélinas said.

“Ontarians should never be forced to skip their medications. They should never have to go into credit card debt just to fill their prescriptions, and people like Charlene shouldn’t have to worry about whether she can afford the essential medication she needs to manage her diabetes.

“Universal Pharmacare is for everyone. It is the right thing to do. Why won’t the Wynne government do it?”