Govt expands National Drug Plan
By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Guardian Staff Reporter
Nassau, The Bahamas
A wider group of Bahamians will now benefit from the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP), Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed in the House of Assembly Tuesday night.
Staff of Her Majesty’s Prisons, the industrial schools, members of the police force and the defence force, public service officers, and Bahamians 60 years of age and over in receipt of survivor’s benefit and survivor’s assistance will also be added.
Females receiving ante-natal care, care connected with child birth, post-natal care or any other medical care associated with pregnancy will also be added.
People in receipt of disablement benefit assessed at 100 percent under the National Insurance (Benefit and Assistance) Regulations, are also being added.
Already benefiting under the first phase of the plan are NIB pensioners, NIB invalids, Bahamian citizens over 65 years of age who are not eligible to receive a NIB pension, children under 18 years of age and students under 25 years of age.
“This amendment is designed and intended to ensure that all of the persons who are listed in the resolution...will receive the same benefit as everybody else,” Ingraham said.
He continued: “It is providing law to all of those persons to receive this medication for these prescribed illnesses without payment.”
The government enacted the drug plan in 2009. The NPDP is designed to assist the Bahamian public with medications generally prescribed to treat 11 chronic conditions: arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, depression (major), diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, prostate cancer and psychosis.
Ingraham noted, however, that the list has been expanded to cover more chronic diseases, but he did not list the additions.
Dec 15, 2011