Kinew: Restore Funding for Lifesaving Drugs, Freeze Pharmacare Deductible Rates, Adopt Bio-similar Drugs

WINNIPEG — As Premier, Wab Kinew would improve health care for Manitobans by: restoring funding to the Special Drugs Program that Brian Pallister cancelled; freezing  pharmacare deductible rates; allowing the use of bio-similar drugs to lower drug costs and help provide more drugs for more people; and making Manitoba a national leader in the push for a universal pharmacare program.

“Everyone who has access to healthcare should also have access to essential medications, without having to choose between medication and food or rent. The time for universal national pharmacare has come,” said Kinew. “Manitobans deserve a Premier who is able to work with everyone to get things done for them. I will champion a national pharmacare program. And until we get there, we will take real steps to make things better here in Manitoba.”

An NDP government would immediately:

  • Restore funding to the Special Drugs Program that Brian Pallister cancelled. This would help appropriately 1,100 Manitobans who have life-threatening illnesses pay for their medications;
  • Freeze pharmacare deductible rates; Brian Pallister has increased these by 5% total since 2016;
  • Increase the use of generics and introduce the use of bio-similars to lower the cost of medications; currently British Columbia is the only province to use bio-similars, while in some European countries the use of bio-similars exceeds 90%;
  • Actively explore opportunities to work with other provinces on bulk buying;

The Special Drugs Program was created in 1968 to help patients whose medical conditions required high-priced medications. It was cancelled by Brian Pallister in 2018.