Government of Canada and Prince Edward Island Improving Access to Medication for Islanders

News release

December 13, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Health Canada

No Canadian should have to choose between paying for prescription drugs and putting food on the table.

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s Minister of Health and the Honourable Ernie Hudson, Minister of Health and Wellness for Prince Edward Island (PEI) announced that as of December 28, 2022, 38 new medications are being added to the PEI formulary, including two important medications, Zejula® (niraparib tosylate) and Lynparza® (olaparib), for treating ovarian cancer.

This announcement is a critical milestone in the Improving Affordable Access to Prescriptions Drugs (IAAPD) initiative. Under the Government of Canada’s IAAPD initiative announced in August 2021, PEI is receiving $35 million over four years in federal funding to add new drugs to its list of covered drugs, and lower out of pocket costs for drugs covered under existing public plans for residents of PEI.

In spring 2021, PEI began the work of reviewing the formulary and drug programs with the goal to identify the gaps that exist between coverage in the province and the rest of the Atlantic region.

Details on PEI’s support for the cost of prescription medication are available here.

In October 2022, with support from the Government of Canada, PEI invited Island residents to share their opinion to inform further drug plan improvements under the IAAPD project. This work will ensure that those who are most vulnerable, like uninsured Islanders, seniors, and families with high burden of medication cost, will benefit from improved access to the medications they need.


“Today’s announcement demonstrates how federal and provincial collaboration can produce real results for Canadians. Through this partnership, we are improving access and affordability to essential medications for Islanders who need it the most. The addition of these medications is another important step in building the foundation for the national pharmacare program.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Coverage of these medications is an important support to Islanders facing ovarian cancer, and I want to recognize the advocacy of the many people who have called for these medications to be funded.  Coverage is critical to health care and every new addition brings Islanders closer to having access to the same medications as our neighbours in other Atlantic provinces.”

The Honourable Ernie Hudson
Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Prince Edward Island

“Today’s announcement is an important step in making sure everyone has access to the medication they need at an affordable price. While there is more to be done, I’m glad we’re able to work together to make these medications more affordable for Islanders.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“Improving access to prescription drugs is essential to aiding the many needs of Islanders and this announcement ensures those who use these supports, are able to receive these medications when they need it most and at an appropriate cost. By adding these critical foundational supports, it is another step forward to improving access to healthcare on PEI.”

Dr. Michael Gardam
Chief Executive Officer at Health PEI

Quick facts

  • With this agreement, PEI is receiving $35 million over 4 years (2021-22 to 2024-25) in federal funding to improve access to and make prescriptions drugs more affordable.

  • This funding is in addition to the concrete steps the government is taking toward the implementation of national universal pharmacare, as outlined in Budget 2022.

  • In May 2022, the Government of Canada and PEI announced a suite of substance use treatment medications to be available, at no cost, to Islanders under the IAAPD initiative.

Associated links


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada

Ron Ryder
Media Contact
Health and Wellness

Public Inquiries:

Page details

Date modified: