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The federal government presents the first stage of the drug insurance plan

Photo: Adrian Wyld The Canadian Press The federal government had already announced that it would offer universal, single-payer coverage for a range of contraceptives and diabetes medications through agreements with the provinces.

The Canadian Press

2:32 p.m.

  • Canada

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the first phase of the national pharmacare plan on Saturday in Toronto, which will include coverage for contraceptives and prescription diabetes medications.

Minister Freeland held a press conference at a downtown Queen City pharmacy, alongside Ya'ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

The details disclosed on Saturday follow the tabling of a bill last February on a national and universal drug insurance plan, resulting from an agreement with the New Democratic Party (NDP) . The government had previously announced that it would provide universal, single-payer coverage for a range of contraceptives and diabetes medications through agreements with the provinces.

“Women should be able to make their own choices when it comes to their health and their bodies. Our plan to make the most common contraceptives, such as the birth control pill and the IUD, and even emergency oral contraceptives free of charge, will give nine million Canadian women the freedom of choice. This freedom must not have a price,” said Minister Freeland, in a press release.

The drug insurance program will be included in the federal government's 2024 budget, which will be presented on April 16.

In addition to the initial list of medications, the bill establishes several next steps and deadlines intended to push the government toward a broader drug insurance plan.

In his press briefing on February 29, the federal Minister of Health, Mark Holland, indicated that Bill C-64 provided that funding is conditional on the signing of bilateral agreements that expand the existing coverage of a public drug insurance plan.

The government also announced that it did not intend to pay full compensation if provinces or territories decided to withdraw from the national drug insurance plan.

The government of Quebec has already indicated that it will defend its areas of jurisdiction provided for by the Constitution.

With information from Michel Saba, The Canadian Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116