CAPHC Applauds First Ever Provincial Pharmacare Program for Children and Youth

On Thursday April 27th, the Ontario government tabled their 2017 Budget. The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres commends the government for its commitment to launch a universal drug coverage program for children and youth, the first of its kind in Canada.

Many families in Canada struggle with the affordability of prescription drugs, often foregoing filling prescriptions in lieu of other financial priorities for the family. Eliminating financial barriers to accessing prescription medications is an important step in supporting families as they manage their healthcare needs. When the program rolls out on January 1, 2018, it is expected that that there will be no income restrictions, no deductibles, and no co-payments, which will further reduce potential barriers to accessing this program.

Significantly, the announcement also indicates that medications under the Exceptional Access Program will also be included in the list of more than 4,400 medications. This will include drugs used to treat cancer and rare diseases, which are of particular importance to Canada’s children’s hospitals where many of these children and youth are seen.

“Despite access to universal healthcare, having a sick child or a child with a chronic illness presents a number of financial challenges for families in Ontario. This program will potentially contribute to lessening some of the financial burdens that these families face” says Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, CAPHC Chair.

CAPHC is encouraged by the leadership of the Ontario government to provide first dollar coverage for prescription medications to over four million children and youth in Ontario. CAPHC is hopeful that other provinces will follow Ontario’s lead to consider similar programs in their jurisdictions.

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About CAPHC:

The Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC) is a non-profit organization recognized as a leader in advancing the improvement of healthcare for Canada’s children and youth. CAPHC’s mandate is to affect system-wide change in the delivery of healthcare services by focusing on innovative initiatives and programs that have broad national relevance. Today, CAPHC is proud to support inter-professional child and youth health care providers and families from more than 70 organizations in Canada.

To learn more about CAPHC’s programs, partners, and services, visit or follow us on Twitter, @CAPHCTweets.


Emily Gruenwoldt
President & CEO, CAPHC
613-371- 5813