ontario news watch

Ottawa willing to add to list of medications covered by pharmacare bill: minister

OTTAWA — Health Minister Mark Holland says the government is open to adding more medications to the list of drugs covered by its proposed pharmacare program.

Holland made the comments at a parliamentary committee studying the Liberals’ pharmacare bill.

Conservative health critic Stephen Ellis asked the minister why semaglutide — a class of antidiabetic medication — was not included in list of drugs covered by the legislation.

The bill introduced in February charts a course toward a universal pharmacare plan that covers birth control and diabetes drugs and supplies.

It does not include Ozempic, a new semaglutide medication for diabetes that has been used off-label as a weight-loss drug.

Holland said the current list represents an “absolute minimum,” and the government is open to adding to it based on negotiations with provinces and recommendations from the committee.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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