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Ottawa unveils national pharmacare plan

Health Minister Mark Holland released the long-awaited details of the federal government’s pharmacare plan on Thursday, with a commitment to cover some diabetes treatments and contraception.
If the bill, C-64, passes Parliament, Holland will begin negotiating with the provinces and territories on a funding commitment that would cover the cost of providing these medications to people for free.
The federal government says it also will establish a fund to support Canadian diabetics who need access to syringes and glucose test strips to manage their condition but struggle to afford them.
The government says one in four Canadians with diabetes, about 3.7 million people have the condition have reported they’re not following their treatment plans due to the cost. The “first-dollar” coverage for these drugs, an insurance industry term which means the government foots the bill entirely — will help those diabetics in particular.The pharmacare plan also will give the nine million Canadians of reproductive age better access to contraception to ensure “reproductive autonomy, reducing the risk of unintended pregnancies and improving their ability to plan for the future,” the government said in its media release.