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Support in Your Community

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Support in Your Community

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Support and Resources in Ontario 

In this section, we provide you a series of resources and information to help you find support in your local community to live better with arthritis. You will find information on:

  • Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program (AREP)
  • Government Programs & Services
  • Arthritis Workshops, Public Forums and Presentations in Ontario
  • Rheumatologists in Ontario

Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program (AREP)

Through the Arthritis Rehabilitation and Education Program (AREP), the Arthritis Society provides a range of services for children and adults living with arthritis in Ontario. Services include:

  • Client-centred rehabilitation services
  • Consultation and guidance on arthritis self-management in the home, workplace and community
  • Individual and group education sessions 

To learn more about AREP, the care team, how to participate and education sessions, please visit the AREP page.

Learn more about AREP

Government Programs & Services

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

The Ontario Disability Support Program is intended to meet the needs of people with disabilities and help them to become more independent.

The ODSP has two parts:

Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB)

Through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Program  the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care covers most of the cost of prescription drug products listed in the ODB Formulary. 

Ontario residents with valid Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) are eligible for drug coverage under the ODB Program if they belong to one of the following groups:

  • people 65 years of age and older;
  • residents of long-term care facilities;
  • residents of Homes for Special Care;
  • people receiving professional services under the Home Care program;
  • Trillium Drug Program recipients;
  • those receiving social assistance (the Ontario Works program or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). 

As long as the drug products are prescribed by an authorized Ontario prescriber, the ODB Program covers:

  • approximately 4,400 quality-assured prescription drug products;
  • a number of limited-use drug products;
  • some nutritional products 

The ODB Program automatically pays for the above listed drug products for people eligible for ODB coverage if the drugs are purchased: 

In an Ontario pharmacy that is on-line with the ministry's Health Network; or from an Ontario doctor licensed to sell prescription drug products.

ODB eligible people may be asked to pay some portion of their prescription drug product costs.

Single seniors (people aged 65 or older) who have an annual income of $19,300 or more and seniors in couples with a combined annual income of $32,300 or more, pay a $100 deductible per senior before they are eligible for drug coverage.  After these seniors pay the deductible, they then pay up to $6.11 toward the dispensing fee each time they fill a prescription for a covered drug product in Ontario in the benefit year.  All other ODB eligible people, including Trillium Drug Program recipients, may be asked to pay up to $2 each time they fill a prescription.  Trillium Drug Program applicants must also pay a quarterly or prorated deductible that is based on their income before they are eligible to receive drug coverage.

Trillium Drug Program

The Trillium Drug Program helps people who have high drug costs in relation to their income.  Once an application is approved, the program covers:

  • over 3,400 prescription drug products;
  • over 400 limited use drug products;
  • some nutritional products. 

You can apply to the Trillium Drug Program if:

  • your private insurance does not cover 100% of your drug costs;
  • you have valid OHIP insurance;
  • you are not eligible for ODB coverage. 

The deductible is based on income and family size, and drug costs up to the deductible level must be paid, before eligibility for coverage begins.  A deductible is a set amount towards the cost of your drugs. After you pay that amount, you then pay up to $2 for each drug, per person, that is filled or refilled.  Only certain drugs count towards the Trillium deductible or as program benefits.  Prescripts must be listed in the ODB.  The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care must approve the requests for non-ODB drugs, before the costs can count towards the Trillium deductible, or as program benefits. 

Ontario Drug Benefit: Section 8 (special coverage)

New drugs approved by Health Canada for sale but not yet listed on the ODB formulary may, based on your physician's opinion, be the only treatment available to improve a health condition.  In exceptional circumstances, physicians may request special coverage of a non-listed drug product not normally covered by ODB under a process referred to as Section 8.  Section 8 must be requested in writing by the physician on behalf of his or her patient, and will be for a specific period of time.  If this specific drug is required for a longer period of time, then the physician must reapply on behalf of the patient. 

Find out more about the Ontario Drug Benefit: Section 8 - Special coverage program

Arthritis Workshops, Public Forums and Presentations in Ontario 

The Arthritis Society organizes a number of educational presentations and public forums in communities across Canada. These workshops allow people with an interest in arthritis to hear experts speak on topics such as current and emerging treatments, and recent research findings.

To find out if there is session offered near you please visit our events page or call 1.800.321.1433 to speak to someone at the Arthritis Society's Ontario Division office.

Explore Events

Rheumatologists in Ontario 

A Rheumatologist is an internist or pediatrician who is qualified by additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other disease of the joints, muscles, and bones.

To see a rheumatologist, you will need a referral from your family physician. A current list is available from the website of the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA).

To learn more on accessing care, medication and care options, visit our Navigating Through Arthritis page.

Navigating Through Arthritis