August 2nd, 2022

Families, seniors need help to afford medication

HALIFAX – Thousands of families and seniors are struggling to pay for medications as the cost of everything continues to rise. As people are stuck deciding between paying for medicine or groceries, the Houston government is choosing not to offer direct support.

“Families and seniors are struggling to afford the medications they need to stay healthy, and the Premier is choosing to do nothing to help them,” said NDP Leader Claudia Chender. “The thousands of people who depend on family and seniors pharmacare still have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in deductibles and copayments. Tim Houston could lower or eliminate those fees so people don’t have to choose between medicine and groceries.”

In the past year, the cost of food has gone up by 9 percent, transportation by 21 percent, and energy costs are up by 46 percent. Now, with over 100,000 people on the family doctor waitlist, and emergency rooms closed or over-stressed, even affording prescription medication is becoming out of reach.

“Seniors, who often live on fixed incomes, are particularly vulnerable to the rising cost of living,” said Chender. “People are doing their best to stretch their budgets but not everyone can, and something as crucial as medication can’t be stretched. Lowering deductibles and copays for pharmacare would help people immediately; the Premier could make this change today.”