Recovering addicts are declaring victory as the B.C. government ends its practice of methadone clawbacks.
Until now, the province allowed private methadone clinics to take $18.34 from clients’ social-assistance cheques.
Hugh Lampkin with the Vancouver-Area Network of Drugs Users says the policy was unfair.
“You don’t do this to other people, people with cancer or other illnesses, you don’t make them pay for their medication, so how come you are making people who have legitimate problems pay for their medication.”
A lawyer for the plaintiffs says a legal challenge will continue until all patients are fully reimbursed.
In a statement, the Ministry of Social Development says the changes to the methadone program are one of many to help those on income or disability assistance in the last several years.
It also notes the Government has been providing a supplement of $500 dollars a year for drug and alcohol treatment, counselling, or other similar services.
B.C. will be paying the full cost of the treatment for about 5,500 clients, and says it spends $2.6 million a year on the supplement.
The Ministry of Social Development says it’s going to also partner with B.C’s Health Ministry to improve the Opioid Substitution Treatment system.