Nova Scotia Co-operative Council to pay for program for prescription drugs
1,000 memberships to go online for free over the weekend
The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, which represents more than 300 co-operative businesses and credit unions in the province, will fund 1,000 one-year memberships to Nova Scotians for purchasing prescription drugs.
The move announced Friday is to help ease the financial strain brought on by the COVID-19 virus.
"It's intended to support ordinary Nova Scotians who are hurting right now," said Dianne Kelderman, CEO of the council. "Many people now either don't have access to their prescriptions or they are at the risk of losing it because they are being laid off."
The memberships are part of a new program called Co-Pharm.
The plan is in collaboration with Genrus United, a membership-based buying group dedicated to making prescription drugs more affordable for Canadians, and covers 131 medications. Those medications are for mental health and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, blood pressure and cholesterol.
People who sign up can get savings up to 80 per cent off regular prescription costs.
There are a network of local pharmacies in Nova Scotia where the program will be available. The total value of the investment made in the program is over $100,000.
"They talk about flattening the curve of the coronavirus and this could help," said Jack Davies, co-founder of Genrus United and pharmacist/owner of Poulain's Pharmacy in Stellarton.
"If you're not taking your medications, you're going to be at high risk, so we must come together and do everything we can to help and support each other during this difficult time."
The coverage plans in the new program will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications can be made online with the program officially opening Saturday morning.
Interested Nova Scotians should visit www.Co-Pharm.ca to complete a form. The promo code is COVID19.
Studies show one in four Canadians do not have access to health benefits and do not take their medications as prescribed due to financial difficulties.
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