More families across British Columbia will be able to access PharmaCare through an investment from the provincial government. The three year, $105-million funding program allows for reduced or eliminated deductibles and co-payments for lower-income households.

“These are the first ever changes to Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments since the program was created 15 years ago – a long overdue step forward in improving the health and lives of thousands of British Columbians,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement.

“For example, as of Jan. 1, households earning up to $30,000 in net income annually no longer have a deductible, meaning the Province will help pay for eligible prescription drug costs right away.”

Prior to the announcement, families earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would have to pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would provide coverage assistance. Data from the Ministry of Health has shown there is a link between low-income levels, deductibles, and decreased drug spending. It indicates families are having to choose between essentials like housing and food ahead of prescriptions.

Families earning between $30,000 and $45,000 in net annual income will also benefit as deductibles and co-payments have been lowered. Seniors born before 1940 earning a household net annual income up to $14,000, and for the lowest income households earning up to $13,750, will no longer have to deal with Fair PharmaCare co-payments.