Crane commits to catastrophic drug plan

Ryan Ross
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PC Party leader Olive Crane and Conservative candidate Gary Bowness announce their party’s commitment to a catastrophic drug plan at a pharmacy in Crapaud Friday.

CRAPAUD - PC Party leader Olive Crane says she will implement a catastrophic drug plan if elected.

Crane was in Crapaud Friday where she said she would implement the plan within the first two years of her mandate.

"We will ensure the over 35,000 Islanders currently without drug coverage will not continue to fall through the cracks," she said.

PC candidates Neila Auld and Gary Bowness joined Crane for the announcement.

Crane expects the plan to cost an additional $3 million per year on top of the costs associated with the province's current drug payment assistance plans.

P.E.I. and New Brunswick are the only two provinces that don’t have catastrophic drug programs, while the Yukon is the only territory without one.

Most of the other provinces pay varying amounts based on income levels.

Crane’s announcement came the day after the P.E.I. Health Charities Network held a news conference asking the leaders of each political party to commit to a catastrophic drug plan.

Premier Robert Ghiz has repeatedly said a catastrophic drug program would be too expensive for the province to pay for alone and he is looking for help from the federal government.

But Crane said a Conservative government won’t wait for help from the federal government.

“This issue for a drug program is one of equal access,” she said.

P.E.I. has a high-cost drug program to help Islanders cover some of the costs of medications, but it doesn’t cover everyone or every medication.

Under the province’s current system there are 27 programs patients can apply to for help paying for expensive medication, but Crane said her plan will combine all of those programs into one.

“What we’re talking about is streamlining the program and make sure it’s efficient and that the patient, the person that needs the help can go deal with one source and only one source,” she said.

Crane said the program will be based on income.

“It will ensure that people that need their medication will not be turned away because they do not have the dollars to afford the medications,” she said.

The exact details of the exact model of service delivery have yet to be determined and Crane said those details will be worked out with stakeholders once the Conservatives are in power.

Crane said the program will cover any drugs doctors deem medically necessary.

“What we’re saying is that you will have a program that will cover you so that you will be able to access that medication no matter what that medication is,” she said.

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  • upwest pruod
    September 10, 2011 - 15:22

    finally, a leader who care about ordinary islanders, Ghiz can talk the talk but can't walk the walk

  • ROLLOVER
    September 09, 2011 - 16:12

    Adequate federal dollars have been available for this coverage for years. Not surprisingly the only other government in Canada that spent all of its fed cash and did not deliver on this was the Shawn Graham government of New Brunswick. What's the deal with driving all of our PEI election stories to the back pages and replacing it with info from other provinces? Put Crane's stories back up where we can see them. Bad overnight tracking results for the Grits?

  • Kathleen
    September 09, 2011 - 16:08

    It seems she's committing to everything going. She never knows where the money is going to come from though. (She even said that when she announced the heating oil promise.) If she wants to lower taxes I don't know how she plans on paying for everything.. or where she's cutting all this money out from different areas in the budget.

  • Greg
    September 09, 2011 - 16:06

    Why would Mr. Ghiz say $3 million a year is too expensive when he spent $2.8 million on mounds of dirt by the confederation bridge?

  • Greg
    September 09, 2011 - 16:05

    Why would Mr. Ghiz say $3 million a year is too expensive when he spent $2.8 million on mounds of dirt by the confederation bridge?

  • Spin
    September 09, 2011 - 15:49

    Got Them worried Olive.Liberal commrnts getting more angry.Great announcement.

  • Senior
    September 09, 2011 - 15:45

    Strange how Liberals think.We went another half billion in debt in 4 years.When Olive makes an announcement to help those in need of basic drug coverage you say we cannot afford it.This Province has the resources to help the needy.The Liberal way of wasting money to feed the greedy must not be the Island wayWe must be a caring people not selfish people.If we cannot afford this program,we cannot afford most of what the Gov. spends.

  • UniversalDrugCareForAll
    September 09, 2011 - 15:35

    Personally I would like to see the leaders debate on this subject... Good for Crane to make the promise...a two year implementation time line is a tad too long to wait tho...I would like to here them commit to fighting for universal drug care, take it national and fight for national drug cost regulation...

  • Robin
    September 09, 2011 - 15:32

    Glad to see that one leader is taking a stand for 37000Islanders who need drug coverage.To those who say we cannot afford it.What is more precious?A life or pavement or fake green waves.People and health are more important than the money we spend for the almighty car.Thank you Olive for placing people first. We need more people like you.

  • olivewhatchawant
    September 09, 2011 - 15:29

    i very much agree the program is more then needed here in PEI. I was only commenting on the fact that Olive's platform to me seems to be directed by the media interest......she wouldn't talk about the drug plan two days ago when asked cause she was at the debate in the country.....um.....anyway....i have had family members who have needed drugs, but I don't think it will happen on either of their watches unfortunately.....

  • Sean Mo
    September 09, 2011 - 15:13

    Easy to keep making announcements about all the things you want to change Olive when there is no hope in hell of winning. How you planning on paying for all of this while maintaining all the services. Dumb A$$

  • Maybe
    September 09, 2011 - 14:54

    ...she intends to get the money back from all those crab loans???

  • olivewhatchawant
    September 09, 2011 - 14:36

    of course Olive is going to say she is committed to a catastrophic drug plan....it will only cost us 3million a year, and then the 40 million a year if she cuts the tax by 2%......she seems to be making up her platform based on what comes up the day before....... i don't want a liberal sweep but if this is the alternative.....i guess i'd be ok with it

    • Garth Staples
      September 09, 2011 - 15:03

      Glad you don't need the drugs but if you would think of others for a change ---------------------------. Thanks to Olive the programme will happen on her watch.

  • Not sure who to vote for
    September 09, 2011 - 13:48

    I'm on a very tight budget as all I have is a Disability Pension and I was prescribed a drug for my ADHD and it's not covered so I'm on another drug and it is not working. I had the other drug for 2 months while in treatment and it worked very very well and I was functioning at a very higher level than I'm now and I would be able to commuciate at a higher level with the Drug for which I'm not covered

  • Thank You
    September 09, 2011 - 13:43

    Thank you Mrs Crane for this promise-I hope the people of PEI will give you the chance you deserve come Oct 3rd.