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Making contraception and diabetes medications free for Canadians

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Everyone deserves a fair, healthy future. But today, for many Canadians, our provincial and territorial health care systems are under strain.

One of the biggest pressures right now is affordable medication. The medications many Canadians need are often too expensive, leading to fewer visits to pharmacies, less treatment, and more frequent health scares. The cost of contraceptives, and medications for those who are diabetic, is one of the largest barriers to access.

We’re making sure Canadians get the medication that they need, when they need it.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today highlighted measures in Budget 2024 to make two key forms of prescription medication free, as well as the federal government’s work to make health care fairer for every generation.

Here’s what we’re doing:

Universal coverage for a range of contraception and diabetes medications. With $1.5 billion in federal investments, we are launching the first phase of a national pharmacare plan.

  • We’re making contraception medications and devices free – from birth control pills, to IUDs, to implants, to the morning-after pill – so women are free to choose if, when, and how they plan their family.
  • With this coverage, nine million women will have more choices and, importantly, more affordable choices – so their right to reproductive freedom isn’t restricted by cost.
  • Women have the right to make decisions about their bodies, their health, and their future – and that’s what free contraception medications are all about.
  • We’re also making diabetes medications, like insulin, free, as well as medications that are often used in combination by patients with Type 2 diabetes.
  • With this coverage, 3.7 million Canadians, including seniors, will be able to get the diabetes medication they need and save up to $1,700 per year.
  • We will also create a fund to support access to diabetes devices and supplies to make sure even more Canadians get their care covered.
  • We are working with provinces and territories to cover these medications, so that Canadians get the prescriptions they need without cost getting in the way.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the federal government’s work to improve dental and health care, such as:

Making dental care more affordable:

  • Seniors pay a lot of money for their dental care – or worse, they live with toothaches and pain because they can’t afford to see a dentist. So, we’re covering the cost.
  • Last fall, we launched the Canadian Dental Care Plan, giving dental coverage to up to nine million uninsured Canadians, including seniors.
  • The plan covers services like cleaning, fillings, X-rays, dentures, and more – so you pay out of pocket less for healthy teeth.
  • Close to two million people have already signed up, and since May 1, more than 100,000 seniors have seen their dental costs covered.

Helping provinces and territories train more doctors and nurses, reduce hospital wait times, clear backlogs, and improve primary care, with:

  • Close to $200 billion to help provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners improve health care for Canadians by reducing backlogs and wait times, improving access to family doctors, supporting front-line health care workers, strengthening mental health care services, modernizing the health system, and providing targeted health services in Northern and Indigenous communities.
  • Working Together agreements with all provinces and territories to make sure that high-quality health care is available to everyone in Canada.
  • Aging with Dignity agreements to improve home, community, and long-term care for seniors across the country.

Affordable health care, including prescription medication, is about fairness. This means every woman will have the ability to choose a contraceptive that is best for her, regardless of cost. And it means Canadians with diabetes will have access to the life-saving medication they need.

This is part of our work to improve the health of Canadians, strengthen the social safety net, and help every generation get ahead. That’s what we’re investing in through Budget 2024. Right alongside this, we’re building more homes, creating more jobs, investing in our economy, and delivering fairness for every generation.


“Medications like contraceptives and insulin are too expensive. That’s why we’re covering the cost. By launching the first phase of universal pharmacare, we’re making sure Canadians get the care they need, when they need it, and without worrying about the bill. That’s what fairness is all about.”

“Women should have the autonomy to make their own choices about their health and their bodies. Our plan to make common contraceptives free ‒ like birth control pills, IUDs, and even emergency contraception ‒ mean that, for nine million Canadian women, freedom of choice will be truly free. And it means more Canadian women will have freedom of choice over their bodies and their lives.”

“We’re taking steps each day to build a stronger health care system, so everyone in Canada gets the care they need. From our pharmacare plan that will help millions of people receive free contraceptives and diabetes medication to the Canadian Dental Care Plan that is making dental care more accessible right across the country, we are focused on getting Canadians better public health care.”

Quick Facts

  • In February 2024, the federal government introduced Bill C-64, the Pharmacare Act. The bill outlines the foundational principles for the first phase of national universal pharmacare in Canada and describes the federal government’s intent to work with provinces and territories to provide universal, single-payer coverage for a number of contraception and diabetes medications.
  • Beyond support for diabetes medication, the federal government announced its plan to establish a fund to support access to diabetes devices and supplies. Further details regarding this fund will be announced following discussions with provincial and territorial partners, who will be essential to its roll-out.
  • Under the Working Together to Improve Health Care for Canadians plan, the federal government is working with provinces and territories to implement two series of bilateral agreements; one to improve health care access and services, and the second to help Canadians age with dignity close to home.
    • These bilateral agreements are intended to be flexible and tailored, so that provinces and territories can address the unique needs of their populations and geography.
    • The plan also guarantees a 5 per cent increase to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) from 2023-24 to 2027-28 for provinces and territories that are taking steps to improve the collection and management of health data, estimated at $15.3 billion. Additionally, it includes a one-time $2 billion CHT top-up to address immediate pressures on the health care system, especially in pediatric hospitals, emergency rooms, and surgical and diagnostic backlogs.
  • Applying to the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) can now be done more easily through a new user-friendly online tool.
  • The CDCP can help uninsured Canadians save thousands of dollars on dental care. For example:
    • Jack, 89, and Evelyn, 87, live in Ontario and have a combined household income of $65,000. While Evelyn is fortunate enough to have all healthy teeth, after many years without affordable access to dental care, Jack is missing all his teeth. Thanks to the CDCP, this year, Jack and Evelyn will save a total of $2,604, including the price of a completely new set of dentures for Jack.
    • Chris and Kate live in British Columbia, earn a combined income of $68,000, and don’t have dental insurance through their jobs. Since the interim Canada Dental Benefit launched in 2022, they’ve received $2,600 to help cover dental costs for their kids, Jessica, 11, and Sacha, 5. Starting this June, Chris and Kate will be able to enroll their kids in the CDCP, saving about $433 in dental costs every year. In 2025, when the CDCP expands to all Canadians with a family income of less than $90,000, Chris and Kate will also be able to enroll themselves, helping their family save a total of around $1,809 every year.
  • Dental health providers eligible to participate in the CDCP on a voluntary basis include dentists, denturists, dental hygienists, and dental specialists.
  • Information on the coordination of benefits between the CDCP and provincial, territorial, and federal dental programs is available on
  • The Government of Canada continues to increase opportunities to access dental health services. This month, the government launched the Oral Health Access Fund (OHAF), which will further reduce barriers that prevent Canadians from accessing dental health care, including in rural and remote communities. The first Call for Proposals will support projects submitted by dental health training institutions.
  • Budget 2024 proposes a range of measures to help more Canadians get ahead, including by:
    • Launching a new Canada Disability Benefit with $6.1 billion over six years, and $1.4 billion ongoing, to supplement provincial and territorial benefits, increasing the financial well-being of over 600,000 working-age persons with disabilities. Budget 2024 also addresses barriers to accessing the Canada Disability Benefit by covering the cost of the medical forms required to apply for the Disability Tax Credit.
    • Launching a new National School Food Program by providing $1 billion over five years to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to expand access to school food programs for more than 400,000 kids
    • Launching a $1 billion Child Care Expansion Loan Program to build more child care spaces and renovate existing child care centres, to save more families thousands of dollars a year on child care, enable more parents ‒ especially moms ‒ to pursue a career, and give every child the best start in life
    • Strengthening the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and ensuring the stability and security of Canadians’ pension benefits for generations to come. The CPP provides an average of more than $8,400 every year to nearly 6 million retirees.

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