The federal government says Canadians pay too much for prescription medications and announced in its budget on Wednesday that it wants to take steps to lower them.

The budget proposed improving access to prescription medications, lowering drug prices and making an investment of $140.3 million over five years to Health Canada, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health.

Life and health insurance industry shares these concerns

"The life and health insurance industry shares these concerns and looks forward to working with the government to lower drug costs for Canadian families," said Frank Swedlove, president and CEO of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

Other proposals in the budget include expanding e-prescribing and virtual care initiatives and investing in the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement to help spur health-related innovations in all provinces and territories.