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NDP planning to bring national pharmacare plan to aid seniors with cost-of-living

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says a proposed pharmacare plan will help seniors feeling the financial pinch avoid deciding to buy medication or groceries.

This comes as the Mar. 1 deadline to implement the national plan with the Liberal government looms. Singh says adding a medication plan is very important, as many seniors have to make difficult decisions around their health with the high cost of living.

“What that really means is that they decide ‘do I buy groceries this week? And then I have to cut back on my medication, or, do I buy my medication and then I have to cut back on my groceries?’,” said Singh.

“That should not be a choice a senior in our country should have to make, but sadly that is a reality.”

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Singh says the Liberals were supposed to have legislation ready for the plan by the end of last year. However, they now have the Mar. 1 deadline for the legislation, and they want to see additional medication covered.

Singh says that those on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast would be able to use their health card instead of their credit card to purchase medication.

Singh says they want the law to be presented next month and more details would be ironed out from that point onwards.

“The next steps would be, we need to lay out what medications we can cover, called a formulary,” said Singh. “Then we look at a plan on how we would buy it in bulk, how would we bring everyone together to buy the medication.”

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Singh adds the program would also lower the cost for provinces because they already spend money on medication and for governments to save that money and use it elsewhere.

With files from Hussam El-Ghussein

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