According to the last census, nearly 2,000 households in the Cowichan Valley have a net income below 30,000 dollars annually.

That’s how many households will now benefit from changes to Fair Pharmacare.

Changes to Phamarcare, now in effect, will see households earning up to 30,000 dollars in net income, annually, no longer having a deductible and deductibles and co-payments have been lowered for households earning between 30,000 and 45,000 dollars.

Minister of Health, Adrian Dix said studies show low-income homes have decreased spending on prescription drugs and that points to people foregoing medication for other essentials like housing and groceries.

“It helps address, I think, one significant issue in our health care system which is adherence to prescription drugs, so when people get prescribed prescription drugs they take what they need to get better, or to get well, or to sustain their health if they have chronic needs.”

Previously, a household earning a net annual income between 15,000 and 30,000 dollars would have to pay between 300 and 600 dollars in deductibles before Fair PharmaCare would start to provide coverage assistance.