Changes proposed to prescription drug program

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The provincial government is proposing a change to the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program to ensure its sustainability for future generations.

"The increasing cost of prescription drugs poses a significant challenge for our health care system," said Health Minister Madeleine Dubé. "While the program has seen its costs more than double in the past 10 years to $188 million, the program has not increased its co-pay amount since 1996. Clearly, this is not sustainable."

The government is proposing to increase the co-payment ceiling for seniors covered by the program to $500 per calendar year from the current $250 per calendar year. The amount paid for each prescription would remain unchanged at $9.05.

The proposed change would result in an estimated cost saving of $3 million per year. This change would affect less than half of the 48,000 seniors currently participating in the program since only those receiving more than 28 prescriptions per year and reaching their current $250 maximum would experience an increase.

A draft regulation will be posted today for 30 days to allow the public and stakeholders to provide comments.

"If we are to maintain a program that helps New Brunswickers with their drug costs, it needs to be sustainable so it can continue to benefit those who need it for many years to come," said Dubé.

More information on the draft regulation can be found on the Department of Health's website at www.gnb.ca/health.

 

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