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'We're focused on fairness': Federal government to cover the costs of contraception, diabetes medications

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Truro, N.S., Friday to announce the federal government will cover the costs of contraception and diabetes medications for Canadians.

The move is part of the first phase of a national pharmacare plan, which the government introduced in February. C-64, the Pharmacare Act, outlined the first phase of national universal pharmacare in Canada, with the intent to provide “universal, single-payer coverage for a number of contraceptives and diabetes medications.”

“We’re focused on fairness for every generation,” said Trudeau.

“Making sure everyone has access to the care they need and protecting the integrity of universal health care in Canada by standing up to those who want to privatize it.”

Birth control pills, IUDs, and the morning after pill will all be covered, as will diabetes medications like insulin.

“Being pro-choice we believe that women should be free to choose whether, when, and how they plan a family,” said Trudeau.

“Right now, only a fraction of Canadian women are eligible for prescription birth control at low or no-cost through a public drug plan.”

The prime minister said coverage for contraceptives means millions of Canadians will have better access to contraception and reproductive autonomy.

“This will help improve family planning, reproductive rights, and, fundamentally, equity,” he said.

According to a news release from the federal government, the most significant barrier to accessing contraceptive medications is cost and that cost is “unevenly borne by women and gender-diverse Canadians.”

The release also points to statistics that show one in four Canadians who live with diabetes has reported the cost of medications has prevented them from following their treatment plan.

“Improving access to diabetes medications will help improve the health of 3.7 million Canadians living with diabetes, and reduce the risk of serious life-changing health complications, such as blindness or amputations,” reads the release.

The federal Liberals are spending $1.5 billion to launch the first phase of this program.

“Bringing down the costs of medications and dental care is making life more affordable for Canadians,” said Trudeau.

“These measures are based on the idea that everyone in this country should have access to the care they need, no matter where they live or how much money they have in their bank account.”

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