Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Out-of-pocket costs vary widely by province for seniors

From the Globe and Mail:
Technically, every Canadian aged 65 or older is covered by a provincial drug plan, but the out-of-pocket costs paid by seniors for prescription drugs vary wildly between provinces, new research shows.

For example, a 65-year-old single woman on a government pension who suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure and is being treated with four prescription drugs pays only $8 for the medication in Ontario but $503 in Manitoba.

Similarly, a 73-year-old married man with an above-average income taking five drugs to treat heart failure pays $60 for the prescription medicine in New Brunswick and $1,332 in Manitoba.

"Given differences in reimbursement according to age, income level, marital status and province of residence, drug reimbursement in Canada is manifestly unequal," said Louise Pilote with the divisions of general internal medicine and clinical epidemiology at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. ...more

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