Liepert to revise drug plan for seniors

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert is expected to sweeten the pot in covering seniors’ prescription drugs.

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert is expected to sweeten the pot in covering seniors’ prescription drugs.

Liepert is to hold a news conference Thursday to announce what his ministry is calling “a revised drug plan for seniors.”

The minister has come under fire since announcing a new scheme that proposed a means test for seniors who wanted drugs paid for by the province.

The proposal stipulated that seniors earning less than about $21,000 would get drugs for free, as would couples earning less than about $42,000.

Those who earned more would have to pay for drugs on a sliding scale up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

Currently, all Alberta seniors only pay $25 fee per prescription.

“I think he’s going to move the threshold on the means testing,” said David Eggen, spokesman for the Friends of Medicare lobby group.

His group is opposed to means testing but would prefer a pharmacare plan such as in New Zealand where the government buys drugs cheaply in bulk and provides them to the public.

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