On June 12, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released its final report which recommends that Canada implement a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare by enacting new legislation and proceeding in a stepwise approach to implementation. The 2019 Federal Budget announced funding for some of the steps, including the formation of an arms-length national drug agency. Whether the recommendations are implemented will turn in part on the results of the October 21 federal election.

We reported on proposed changes to the OHIP+ program, under which Ontario provided free prescription drug coverage for all children/youth 24 years of age or younger. The changes came into force on April 1 such that only those children/youth that do not have a private plan will remain eligible for OHIP+ benefits.

In February, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care ordered a subsidiary of Costco to pay a $7.25M penalty for accepting generic manufacturer payments, violating the drug rebate prohibition.

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