Impact of a publicly-funded pharmacare program policy on benzodiazepine dispensing among children and youth

A population-based natural experiment

In January 2018, the Government of Ontario, Canada, initiated a universal pharmacare program (OHIP+) for all individuals aged 24 years and younger. In April 2019, the program was amended to cover only children and youth without private insurance. Since benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed to children and youth despite their potential hazards, this study examined whether changes in publicly-funded drug coverage influenced benzodiazepine dispensing trends in this demographic.

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