Coverage of Drug Costs

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The Ministry of Health has four major programs to help cover the costs of drugs. Your pharmacist can help with information/application.

Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB)
Trillium Drug Program
Exceptional Access Program
Special Drugs Program
Other Programs
Tips
Resources

Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB)

The Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB) Link to external site is a program that may pay for most of the costs of prescription drugs dispensed by your pharmacist.

How to Apply: Go to website Link to external site or call 1-800-268-1154.

Trillium Drug Program

The Trillium Drug Program Link to external site is a program that helps people who have high prescription drug costs relative to their household income.

How to Apply: Visit website Link to external site or call 1-800-575-5386

Exceptional Access Program

The Exception Access Program Link to external site is a program that support patients in exceptional circumstances (e.g. no other treatment available, new approved drugs), and/or when the cost of drugs are not covered by ODB. Your physician must submit the request and relevant medical information to the Ministry of Health for approval.

Special Drugs Program

The Special Drugs Program Link to external site is program designed to pay for specific drugs used to treat certain diseases or conditions. If you have questions call 1-866-811-9908 or visit website Link to external site.

Other Programs

  • New Drug Funding Program:Link to external site Covers some approved intravenous cancer drugs administered in hospitals or Regional Cancer Centres.
  • Visudyne Program:Link to external site Covers the full cost of the drug Verteporfin which slows the advance of the age-related eye condition (macular degeneration).
  • Inherited Metabolic Diseases Program:Link to external site Covers the full cost of some outpatient drugs, supplements and specialty foods used to treat metabolic disorders.
  • Private Insurance: Some private insurance programs may cover drugs not covered by ODB.

Tips

  • Pharmacies offer different services (e.g. information, free delivery for prescriptions, reduced co-payment). Determine which one works best for you.
  • Use one pharmacy so interactions and side effects can be prevented.
  • MedsCheck Link to external site - a free, annual 30 minute discussion with a pharmacist regarding your prescriptions, over-the-counter and alternative medications.
  • A first-time prescription should include a maximum 30 day supply to minimize waste if the drug is not suitable.
  • Pharmacies allow a vacation supply if leaving the province for 100 days or more. Prescriptions can be filled for up to 200 days. Extra co-payments will apply.
  • When on vacation, take a list of your medication (include the generic name) in order to replenish your supply if needed.

Resources