About the Plan

The National Prescription Drug Plan is one of several initiatives by the Government of The Bahamas to improve access to health care services; and in doing so, to enhance health and quality of life of Bahamians.

The Plan is managed by the National Insurance Board and is being implemented in phases. The National Prescription Drug Plan is but the first step towards a national and comprehensive health and wellness program.

Aims and Benefits of the Plan
Presently, The Plan assists persons suffering from chronic diseases in getting their prescription drugs and medical supplies at any participating public or private pharmacy at zero cost. This Plan provides support for persons suffering from chronic diseases, improves public awareness on chronic diseases, and promotes prevention of chronic diseases.

The Plan consists of two major programs – the Prescription Drug Program and the Healthy People Program. The Prescription Drug Program supports treatment of existing chronic conditions by enhancing access to prescription drugs in public and private pharmacies, reducing patient burden of paying for prescription drugs, and improving patient compliance in condition management. Prevention of chronic diseases is equally as important as treatment and cure.  And so, the Healthy People Program has been designed to complement the Drug Program. The Healthy People Program provides grants to local organizations for well-designed community projects to aid in fostering healthy lifestyles and wellness throughout The Bahamas.

Chronic Diseases Covered
Chronic diseases are the major causes of illness, hospitalization, surgery and early deaths in The Bahamas. Persons suffering from one or more of the following chronic diseases and belonging to one of the covered groups can benefit from the Plan.

  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Benign Prostate Hypertrophy
  • Breast Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • High Cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • Ischaemic Disease  
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Psychiatric Illness 
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Thyroid Disease

How does the Plan work?
To benefit from the Plan, individuals must be registered as members. To become a member, one must:

  • Have a valid NIB number
  • Belong to one of the covered eligible groups
  • Be certified by a registered medical practitioner as suffering from one or more of the listed 14 diseases
  • Complete and sign the requisite NPDP Registration Form (Form DP-1)
  • Possess an ACE x Prescription Card to be used when accessing benefits from participating pharmacies
In the later phases, an additional requirement will be the extent to which a person is up-to-date with payment of the relevant contributions to NIB.

Public and private pharmacies have been contracted to provide drugs approved by the NPDP.

As a member, prescriptions from a physician along with the membership card can be used at any participating public or private pharmacy to obtain medication. The pharmacy will send information on the filled prescription to the NIB Drug Plan Office for payment. 

Who is eligible? 
The Plan presently covers:

  • NIB Pensioners receiving:
    • Retirement Benefit or Grant
    • Old-Age Non Contributory Pension
    • Survivors Benefit/Assistance (age 60 & over)
    • Disablement Benefit assessed at 100%
  • NIB Invalids receiving:
    • Invalidity Benefit
    • Invalidity Assistance
  • Bahamian citizens age 65 and over
  • Children
    • under 18 years
    • under 25 years (if full-time students)
  • Indigent persons
  • Government employees
  • Women receiving ante-natal and post-natal care

Costs and Funding
In the first and second Phases of the Plan, members incur no costs as the Plan is funded entirely from the Medical Benefits Branch of The National Insurance Board.

In the next Phase or Phases, the Plan will be expanded to cover all other persons in the rest of the population with the listed chronic diseases. These will include employed and self-employed persons. These benefits will be financed by a new deduction from earnings of workers and reimbursement from insurers through coordination of benefits for members with insurance plans and a small co-payment.