B.C. becomes first province to provide universal coverage for opioid treatments

published on June 14, 2023 by Darryl Greer in Vancouver Sun

The British Columbia government is expanding access to opioid treatment medications such as methadone by providing universal coverage to help people with substance use disorders, making it the first province in Canada to do so.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a news release Wednesday that full coverage of the medications will be available to B.C. residents under the province’s medical services plan.

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions said the policy became effective June 6, and expands full coverage to approximately 1,638 people who had been paying out of pocket for the drugs, out of a total of 34,520 who had been receiving the treatments in B.C. last year.

Dix said improving access to the medication strengthens the public health system.

“By reducing financial barriers to opioid agonist treatment medication, we’re making it easier for people to get the care they need and helping to create more equitable health outcomes for people in B.C.”…

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