Making contraception and diabetes medications free for Canadians

2024 May 24

Medications like contraceptives and insulin are too expensive. That’s why we’re covering the cost. By launching the first phase of universal pharmacare, we’re making sure Canadians get the care they need, when they need it, and without worrying about the bill. That’s what fairness is all about

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Everyone deserves a fair, healthy future. But today, for many Canadians, our provincial and territorial health care systems are under strain.

One of the biggest pressures right now is affordable medication. The medications many Canadians need are often too expensive, leading to fewer visits to pharmacies, less treatment, and more frequent health scares. The cost of contraceptives, and medications for those who are diabetic, is one of the largest barriers to access.

We’re making sure Canadians get the medication that they need, when they need it.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted measures in Budget 2024 to make two key forms of prescription medication free, as well as the federal government’s work to make health care fairer for every generation.

Here’s what we’re doing:

Universal coverage for a range of contraception and diabetes medications. With $1.5 billion in federal investments, we are launching the first phase of a national pharmacare plan.

  • We’re making contraception medications and devices free – from birth control pills, to IUDs, to implants, to the morning-after pill – so women are free to choose if, when, and how they plan their family.
  • With this coverage, nine million women will have more choices and, importantly, more affordable choices – so their right to reproductive freedom isn’t restricted by cost.
  • Women have the right to make decisions about their bodies, their health, and their future – and that’s what free contraception medications are all about.
  • We’re also making diabetes medications, like insulin, free, as well as medications that are often used in combination by patients with Type 2 diabetes.
  • With this coverage, 3.7 million Canadians, including seniors, will be able to get the diabetes medication they need and save up to $1,700 per year.
  • We will also create a fund to support access to diabetes devices and supplies to make sure even more Canadians get their care covered.
  • We are working with provinces and territories to cover these medications, so that Canadians get the prescriptions they need without cost getting in the way.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the federal government’s work to improve dental and health care, such as:

Making dental care more affordable:

  • Seniors pay a lot of money for their dental care – or worse, they live with toothaches and pain because they can’t afford to see a dentist. So, we’re covering the cost.
  • Last fall, we launched the Canadian Dental Care Plan, giving dental coverage to up to nine million uninsured Canadians, including seniors.
  • The plan covers services like cleaning, fillings, X-rays, dentures, and more – so you pay out of pocket less for healthy teeth.
  • Close to two million people have already signed up, and since May 1, more than 100,000 seniors have seen their dental costs covered.

Helping provinces and territories train more doctors and nurses, reduce hospital wait times, clear backlogs, and improve primary care, with:

  • Close to $200 billion to help provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners improve health care for Canadians by reducing backlogs and wait times, improving access to family doctors, supporting front-line health care workers, strengthening mental health care services, modernizing the health system, and providing targeted health services in Northern and Indigenous communities.
  • Working Together agreements with all provinces and territories to make sure that high-quality health care is available to everyone in Canada.
  • Aging with Dignity agreements to improve home, community, and long-term care for seniors across the country.

Affordable health care, including prescription medication, is about fairness. This means every woman will have the ability to choose a contraceptive that is best for her, regardless of cost. And it means Canadians with diabetes will have access to the life-saving medication they need.

This is part of our work to improve the health of Canadians, strengthen the social safety net, and help every generation get ahead. That’s what we’re investing in through Budget 2024. Right alongside this, we’re building more homes, creating more jobs, investing in our economy, and delivering fairness for every generation.