Nova Scotia Makes Seniors' Pharmacare More Affordable

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Nova Scotians aged 65 and older will pay less when purchasing a prescription drug at the pharmacy.

Effective April 1, seniors will pay a copayment of 30 per cent for each prescription. The maximum annual copayment will remain at $382 and the maximum annual premium will stay at $424.

"The province is committed to ensuring the Seniors' Pharmacare Program remains both affordable and sustainable," said Health Minister Karen Casey. "The reduction in the copayment for each prescription will make purchasing prescription drugs more affordable for seniors in the province."

Once a senior's copayments reach a total of $382 for the year, Seniors' Pharmacare will pay the full cost of the senior's prescriptions covered under the program until the end of the fiscal year, which is March 31.

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Changes to the program are discussed with the Group of IX Nova Scotia Seniors' Organizations through the Department of Seniors. The primary role of the group is to ensure the needs of seniors are represented in government decision-making.

"This is good news for seniors, and we congratulate the government on a job well done," said Bernie LaRusic, Chair of the Group of IX.

"I extend my thanks to the Group of IX and the Department of Health for their work on the Seniors' Pharmacare program," said Len Goucher, Minister of Seniors. "Together, we continue to advance the Strategy for Positive Aging by improving programs that benefit the province's seniors."

About 99,000 people are registered in the Seniors' Pharmacare Program and about 50 per cent, including those receiving the guaranteed income supplement, are exempt from paying the premiums or pay a reduced amount.

The program is cost-shared, with government paying about 75 per cent and program members paying about 25 per cent. The total cost to operate the program in 2009-10 is expected to be about $193 million.

"I would like to remind seniors that they need to renew their enrolment in the Seniors' Pharmacare Program before April 1," said Ms. Casey.

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