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Ontario Providing Free Prescription Medications for Students

New OHIP+ Will Make Prescription Drugs Free For Everyone 24 and Under


May 3, 2017

Premier Kathleen Wynne met with students at the University of Waterloo today to discuss how Ontario’s new OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare Program will benefit them and their families.

Last week, Ontario announced that as part of the 2017 Budget, it is moving to make prescription medications free for all children and youth 24 years of age and younger, regardless of family income. Coverage will be automatic, with no upfront costs.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the proposed program will improve access to prescription medications for more than four million children and young people, including students and young professionals who may not have access to comprehensive drug benefit plans as they pursue postsecondary education or begin their careers.

Beyond the most common prescriptions, OHIP+ will give young people access to more than 4,400 drugs reimbursed under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program, including medications funded through the Exceptional Access Program, at no cost. Medications that will be covered include asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics and oral contraceptives. 

Ontario’s drug funding program is already one of the country’s most generous, helping to pay for needed prescription medications for seniors, people with high drug costs, and other vulnerable populations. Ontario is investing $465 million to expand coverage through OHIP+.

Making prescription medications more affordable for young people and families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.




“OHIP+ represents the biggest expansion of Medicare in Ontario in more than a generation. We have unveiled a very comprehensive plan for young people 24 and under. Young people who are trying to get a strong start in life need our support — access to free prescription medication will make life more affordable for them when they need it most.”

–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

“Ontario is the first Canadian province to introduce universal pharmacare for children and youth. Through OHIP+, we are making health care more affordable for families and providing access to prescription medications that will help millions of young people grow healthy and strong.”

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care


  • Prescription medications will be covered through OHIP+ if they are listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary/Comparative Drug Index or if they are funded through the Exceptional Access Program.
  • As part of the 2017 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $7 billion in health care over the next three years.
  • Ontario is improving access to high-quality health care services for people across the province by investing $1.3 billion over three years to reduce wait times.
  • Ontario is also expanding funding for mental health and addiction initiatives, such as structured psychotherapy, supportive housing and youth services.



2017 Ontario Budget

Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care