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Alberta planning to opt out of pharmacare program

The Government of Alberta has plans to opt out of a national pharmacare program which would make some prescription drugs available free of charge.

This program was part of an agreement between the Liberals and NDP which would cover the cost of contraceptives and diabetes medication across the country.

However, Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange said that Alberta would not be participating in the plan. Instead, they'd prefer to get the money that would be used for the program for them to use programs already available in Alberta.

A report from Statistics Canada showed that one in five Canadians lack access to prescription drug coverage, with 7.5 million Canadians paying for prescriptions out of their own pocket.

Some have criticized the provincial government's plans to opt out, with an executive with Friends of Medicare claiming that LaGrange's statement was “misleading and beyond offensive.”

Adriana LaGrange.