New Brunswick's Health minister is putting a new spin on one of Premier David Alward's election promises.

Madeleine Dubé said Friday that a catastrophic drug coverage program would be in place by the end of Alward's four-year mandate—but that's not what Alward himself promised during the campaign last year in Campbellton.

Catastrophic drug coverage ensures that no one is denied access to necessary, high-cost drugs based on where they live, or their ability to pay.

This week's provincial budget contained no money to create a program to cover the cost of catastrophic drugs.

The annual price of those drugs can be in the five or even six-figure range.

The Tories promised such a plan in last year's election.

Dubé told the legislature Friday morning the promise will be kept, sometime over the next four years.

"This is a commitment for our mandate. We will make it happen."

On Sept. 8, 2010 Alward told reporters the drug plan would be in place quickly.

"You can be sure that we will have it going within the year."

But with no money in the budget, it's likely the Conservatives won't be able to keep that promise.

 New Brunswickers will have to wait out Dubé's considerably longer four-year timeline, even though she was at the rally in Campbellton where Alward promised one year.