Province Announces First Changes in 15 Years to Fair PharmaCare Program

January 22, 2019

Thanks to a three-year $105-million investment that is reducing or eliminating deductibles and co-payments for lower income households, 240,000 British Columbian families will be getting help to cover the   extra costs of prescription drugs starting in 2019.

Since Fair PharamaCare was created over 15 years ago, a household earning a net annual income between $15,000 and $30,000 would pay between $300 and $600 in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance. The first ever changes in these program deductibles and co-payments signal a long over due step in improving the health and lives of  thousands of British Columbians.

The Ministry of Health has found that families forgo  filling prescriptions because of the cost, opting for other essentials, such as housing and groceries. This has been indicated by a link between low income levels, deductibles and decreased drug spending.

In the past, even families with the lowest income levels were required to pay out of pocket for prescription drugs; before they were eligible for coverage they were required to spend $200.

That has changed, by eliminating the family maximum for the lowest earning families and reducing it for those earning less than a net annual income of $45,000, families will save more on prescriptions throughout the year. Fair PharmaCare co-payments have also been eliminated for seniors born before 1940 earning a household net annual income up to $14,000, and for the lowest income households – those earning up to $13,750. In order to register for Fair PharmaCare, families must have Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.

Fair PharmaCare is income based; the less a family earns, the more help they get.

To find out more, and to calculate your eligibility, including deductibles and family maximums, visit The Province of British Columbia's website:


January Newsletter 2019.pdf998.8 KB
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