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Catastrophic Drug Program

About the Catastrophic Drug Program


The Catastrophic Drug Program provides assistance to Islanders whose eligible prescription drug costs are affecting their household’s ability to maintain life essentials. Through this new program Islanders will have their annual out-of-pocket drug costs for eligible prescription medications capped at an amount not exceeding a set percentage of their household income, referred to as ‘household cap’. 

It will provide the greatest benefit to those who need it the most.

What medications are covered?


Only eligible prescription medications will be covered by the program. The list of medications Islanders can apply to receive under the program includes prescription medications on the list of drugs funded by the province (, except for over-the-counter medications and those an individual is already receiving through another public drug program. For more information on what drugs are covered, ask your pharmacist or contact the PEI Pharmacare Office at 368-4947 in Charlottetown or 1-877-577-3737.

How does the program work?


To qualify for coverage by the program:

  • You must be a permanent Prince Edward Island resident. A permanent PEI resident is a   person who is present in the province for 6 months or more per year.
  • You and eligible household members, must file a Prince Edward Island tax return for the  previous year for which you are applying to the program to claim benefits;
  • You must have a valid Prince Edward Island Health Card.

Once a household has spent a certain percentage of its income on eligible drug costs, any further eligible prescription drug costs will be paid through the Catastrophic Drug Program for the remainder of the program year.

Total Household Income Ranges
to $20,000
Greater than $20,000
to $50,000
Greater than $50,000
to $100,000
Greater than $100,000  

The program year is July 1 to June 30.  For the first year of the program, all eligible prescription expenses from Oct. 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 will be considered towards the household cap. For
this 1st year only, the cap will be set at 75 per cent of the annual household cap as the program is starting in October rather than July.

How is my household income determined?


The income of every household member who is eligible to apply to the program will be counted towards the household’s annual cap.  A household can consist of: 

  • An adult over the age 18 (unless they are enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution and are under the age of 26) or; 
  • An adult and a spouse or;
  • An adult and any dependent children (under the age of 19 or under the age of 26 and attending a post-secondary institution full-time) or; 
  • An adult, spouse and any dependent children.

A spouse includes a married or common-law partner. 

About Prescriptions


Prescriptions can be filled at any Prince Edward Island community pharmacy. 

How do I apply?


If you wish to join the Catastrophic Drug Program, you must complete the registration form and forward it to: 

PEI Pharmacare
PO Box 2000 
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A 7N8

What forms do I need?


Catastrophic Drug Program Application Form

Who can I contact?


PEI Pharmacare
(902) 368-4947 or 1-877-577-3737

Where is the PEI Pharmacare Office?


The PEI Pharmacare Office located in Charlottetown at 16 Fitzroy St on the first floor of the Sullivan Building. 


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