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Service Description

Provides medically-necessary coverage of prescription and over-the-counter medications for eligible First Nations and Inuit people in Canada.

Covers prescription and over-the-counter medications that are:

  • Included on the NIHB drug benefit list, including benefits that are: open, which do not require prior approval; or limited use, which may be eligible for coverage if the criteria for coverage are met
  • Prescribed by an NIHB recognized health professional, such as a physician.

Exception drugs are not listed in the drug benefit list but may be approved in special circumstances.


The program provides eligible clients with coverage for benefits not otherwise available under federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.

An eligible client must be a resident of Canada and any of the following:
-a First Nations person who is registered under the Indian Act (commonly referred to as a status Indian);
-an Inuk recognized by an Inuit land claim organization; or
-a child less than 18 months old whose parent is a registered First Nations person or a recognized Inuk.

Application Process

Access the drugs and pharmacy benefits from a licensed pharmacy.

Providers who are enrolled in the program generally send in claims to bill the program directly. This means you do not have to pay a deductible or co-payment. You will need to show client identification in order for providers to bill the program directly.


No cost.

Toll-Free: 1-800-580-0950

NIHB Drug Exception Centre

Service Website



Coverage Area


Languages Offered

French, English

Online Resources

Mailing Address

Address Locator 0900C2
Ottawa ON  K1A 0K9

Location Info

Fax: 613-941-5366

TTY: 1-800-465-7735

Service Canada

Toll-Free: 1-866-225-0709

Business Line: 613-957-2991



211 Saskatchewan strives to make sure information is correct. However, there are often changes to community services, which means inaccuracies may be possible. The information presented by 211 Saskatchewan may be subject to change.

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