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Helping you afford the medication you need

As the prices for food, housing and other necessities keep increasing, the cost of much-needed prescription medicine may make it impossible for many people to obtain without support. Medication affordability issues include cutting your pills, skipping doses, or not paying for food or bills to pay for your prescription medication.

Fortunately, several programs and resources help you understand your medication's cost before filling your prescription and how to get cost-effective options.

Talk to your prescriber:

  • Your care provider wants to ensure you're getting the treatment you need. They may need to learn that you need help in affording your medication. Let them know if you're worried about the cost.
  • It's ok to tell them you can't afford your medication. You're not alone. Twenty-three percent of people in Canada say they can't afford their prescription medications.
  • Ask your prescriber about any affordable options. They may be able to offer less expensive prescriptions or know of programs through pharmaceutical companies.

Register for Fair Pharmacare:

This BC Government program may be able to reduce your prescription costs significantly. Fair Pharmacare is separate from MSP, and you must register for it. 
To register, you will need the following:
  • Your Personal Health Number (PHN), which you can find on your Care Card or the back of your licence
  • Income tax information from 2 years ago (for example: for 2022, your taxes from 2020)
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) for you and (if applicable) your spouse

Visit the BC Government website or call 604-683-7151 (from the Lower Mainland) and 1-800-663-7100 (from the rest of BC) 

New to B.C. or have not signed up for MSP

Those new to Canada/B.C. can register for MSP and Fair PharmaCare using a single form.

Using one form, the B.C. Application for Health and Drug Coverage allows patients and families to apply for the following:

  • Medical Services Plan (MSP)
  • Fair PharmaCare
  • Supplementary Benefits

Coverage for Indigenous Peoples

You do not need to apply for Plan W. You must be enrolled with First Nations Health Authority to receive coverage. Coverage can include over-the-counter medication, as long as you have prescribers notes (including pharmacist). 

You are eligible for coverage under Plan W if you:

  • Have active Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage. To enrol in MSP, contact FNHA.
  • Are a registered Indian under the Indian Act, or are a child under two years who has at least one parent who is a registered Indian under the Indian Act


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