Government will maintain the annual maximum premiums and co-payments for the Seniors’ Pharmacare Program in 2015-16. Seniors currently pay a maximum premium of $424 and a maximum co-payment of $382, these rates haven’t changed since 2007. About half of all seniors in the program do not pay a premium at all. Minister of Health and Wellness, Leo Glavine, is committed to offering a good, affordable program for both seniors and taxpayers. “The cost of prescription drugs is a concern for many seniors, which is why we’re holding the rates the same for another year,” said Mr. Glavine. Government is removing the 75:25 cost-sharing formula that had been used to calculate the premiums and co-payments seniors paid each year. The formula is based on the total estimated costs of the program for the next program year and the premiums and co-payments that seniors paid collectively. The total of the seniors’ contribution was 25 per cent (plus or minus three per cent) of the total program costs. “With a rapidly changing demographic, new drugs coming into the marketplace, and rising drug costs, we need to make adjustments to the program so it will continue to meet the needs of seniors in the future,” said Mr. Glavine. There are about 123,000 seniors enrolled in the program, an increase of 22,000 people compared with 2009-10. With the removal of the ratio, program costs can be affordably spread across the growing number of new clients every year. Nova Scotia continues to work to lower the cost of drugs through the province’s Fair Drug Pricing strategy, and its participation in the Pan-Canadian Competitive Value Price Initiative for Generic Drugs. The Seniors’ Pharmacare Program is a provincial drug insurance plan that helps eligible seniors with the cost of their prescription drugs. The total program cost was 169.5 million in 2014-15. More information on Seniors’ Pharmacare can be found at: novascotia.ca/dhw/pharmacare/seniors-pharmacare.asp .