Canadian provincial and territorial drug plans vary considerably in terms of eligibility criteria, and most of the insurance plans provided are subject to caps, cost sharing and exclusions. In fact, Canadians have unequal access to prescription medications, depending on their socio-economic status and place of residence. This comes at time then the effects of population aging, an increasing number of people with multiple chronic illnesses and innovations in the prescription medications field have brought about an increase in spending on these products. The question raised by this study is does a province with a better prescription drug plan have a healthier population?
This study compared coverage of prescription drug plans among people 65 years old and over in three provinces: New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. The results of our study suggest that senior citizen health does not seem to improve. Therefore, it is imperative that additional research be conducted to determine the true impact of prescription drug plans on health outcomes. This would allow for the creation of tailor-made, better-targeted programs and policies to meet community needs more adequately.