The Ministry of Health PharmaCare Program provides assistance to BCEA clients with the costs of purchasing prescription drugs and some medical supplies under Plan C. PharmaCare also provides financial assistance under Fair PharmaCare and other speciality plans, to British Columbians who need it most:  the lower the income, the more assistance the government provides for prescription drugs.


Effective: February 25, 2013

PharmaCare coverage (Plan C) is available immediately to all recipients of income assistance, hardship assistance and disability assistance, even if they do not meet the MSP residency requirements (three continuous months in BC).  Plan C provides prescription drugs and some medical supplies at no cost to the recipient.  PharmaCare coverage cannot be backdated and coverage ends immediately when a recipient's file is closed.  [see Related Links – Medical Services Plan and Medical Coverage]

Recipients under this plan obtain coverage by providing their Personal Health Number (PHN) to any pharmacy within BC.

PharmaCare does not provide any out-of-province coverage. 

Under no circumstances are prescription drugs to be paid for by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.  

For prescriptions not regularly covered by PharmaCare, a recipient may have their physician request Special Authority directly from PharmaCare.

PharmaCare may restrict recipients to specific pharmacies or doctors.  This is a matter between the recipient and PharmaCare. Recipients should be advised to contact PharmaCare directly.

PharmaCare coverage ends immediately when the case is closed.

Recipients can register for Fair PharmaCare on the PharmaCare website [see Contacts].

For more information on PharmaCare, including other plan types, see Contacts.


Effective: December 1, 2003

To provide a client with PharmaCare coverage, apply for Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage on the system. [see Related Links – Medical Services Plan and Medical Coverage]

Once MSP has been applied for, clients are eligible for PharmaCare coverage immediately, even when the MSP effective date is in the future due to the Ministry of Health’s residency requirement not being met.

Authorities and Responsibilities

Effective: December 1, 2003

Ministry of Health​ is responsible for:

  • Administering PharmaCare

Frequently Asked Questions


Question   Are psychiatric medications available to recipients under Plan C?

Answer   The No-Charge Psychiatric Medication Program (Plan G) provides eligible psychiatric medications to persons eligible for premium assistance, including Code C, at no extra charge.  Eligibility for Code G is determined by the Mental Health Centres.