The Nova Scotia government is increasing its Seniors’ Pharmacare program investment by $11 million in 2007-08. “This investment in Seniors’ Pharmacare will allow Nova Scotia to continue to have the most comprehensive Pharmacare program in Atlantic Canada,” said Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. As of April 1, the annual premium will be increased by six per cent, or an additional $24, bringing the cost to $424 from $400. Seniors are currently required to pay a co-payment of 33 per cent for each prescription, to a maximum of $30 per prescription, with an annual cap of $360. The cap will be increased by six per cent, or $22, to $382. More than 95,000 people are registered in the Pharmacare program. Thousands of low-income seniors, including those receiving the guaranteed income supplement, are exempt from paying the premiums or pay a reduced amount. The full premium is paid by about 40,000 program members. The Pharmacare program for seniors is cost-shared by the Department of Health and seniors, with government paying 75 per cent of costs and program members paying 25 per cent. The total cost to operate the program in 2007-08 is estimated at $182 million. “The Seniors’ Pharmacare program is an important part of the health-care system which must remain both affordable to seniors and sustainable over time,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “As prescription drug costs continue to rise, an increase in the fees will allow the program to continue to provide benefits to the greatest number of seniors.” The annual renewal package for the Seniors’ Pharmacare program will be mailed to seniors starting March 12. The package outlines how low-income seniors, including those who receive the guaranteed income supplement, can have premiums reduced or waived.