March 6th, 2018

Horwath says Ontarians can’t wait for universal pharmacare

27-year-old Brantford woman facing $480 in monthly drug costs describes why universal pharmacare is an urgent need

Universal pharmacare is a must-have and Ontarians can’t afford to wait any longer, said Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath in Brantford Tuesday, where she was joined by 27-year-old Amanda Hosie, a Brantford woman who lives with diabetes and soon will no longer be able to afford her medicine.

Hosie is a student and is currently covered under her school’s benefits plan, but when she graduates in September, she will no longer be able to afford her prescriptions.

“Amanda is in a situation right now that too many Ontarians face. She has a chronic illness and it needs to be managed, but she can’t afford the monthly costs without help,” said Horwath. “Amanda should not have to rack up credit card debt to get her medicine. And Amanda should never have to go without her medicine, risking her health.”

One-in-four Ontarians is not taking their medication as prescribed because of the cost. Thousands of people cut their pills in half or skip doses to make each bottle last longer.

Once Amanda’s school benefits plan runs out, her monthly medicine bills will jump to about $480, up from $66. She’d be covered under Horwath’s Pharmacare for All plan – a universal prescription drug plan that will cover all Ontarians, regardless of age, income or employment.

NDP candidate for the riding of Brantford-Brant, Alex Felsky, joined Horwath and Hosie said the issue is important for the region.

“Kathleen Wynne doesn’t have a plan for people like Amanda,” said Felsky. “And in the Brantford-Brant area, where more and more people are working non-traditional jobs and living without the workplace benefits their parents might have had, we’re ready to stop settling for premiers that squeeze families for things like rising drug costs. I’m excited about Andrea’s pharmacare plan because I see how it would change people’s lives for the better, and ease the pressure on our hospitals and emergency rooms.”

“We can do so much better for people like Amanda,” said Horwath. “We can deliver lower costs, less stress and better health for everyone by ensuring they get the medicine they’re prescribed. This is what change for the better looks like.”