Province adds 98 new drugs to Pharamcare program

July 11, 2014

Next week, 98 new medications will be added to the pharmacare program in Manitoba including a widely used cancer drug that treats advanced renal cancer, pancreatic tumors and advanced breast cancer, Health Minister Erin Selby announced today.

“The size of your bank account shouldn’t be what stands in the way of accessing medication. By further strengthening the pharmacare program, we’re helping patients get the medication they need to help them feel better,” said Minister Selby.

Coverage of the new medications will begin on July 17. The minister noted Tecfidera, a drugfor treating multiple sclerosis, is also now covered. Other drugs that were added include those to treat illnesses and chronic conditions such as high blood cholesterol, epilepsy and inflammation pain after cataract surgery.

Some of the new drugs added for coverage include:

Acuvail for the treatment of pain and inflammation after cataract surgery;
Afinitor for the treatment ofadvanced renal cancer, pancreatic tumors and advanced breast cancer;
Dificid for the treatment of C. difficile infections in adults;
Epuris for the treatment of acne;
Fycompa for the treatment of epilepsy; and
Lodalis for the treatment of high blood cholesterol.

The minister noted 80 of the new medications are generic and these new additions are expected to save Manitoba families $2.2 million next year.

Pharmacare is a universal, comprehensive prescription drug program for any Manitoban with benefits based on family income. It covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of medical condition or age.

More than 3,700 medications have been added to the pharmacare program since 1999. Earlier this year, medications that help treat diabetes, arthritis, asthma and blood clots were added.

For more information on pharmacare, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/pharmacare/.

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“The size of your bank account shouldn’t be what stands in the way of accessing medication. By further strengthening the pharmacare program, we’re helping patients get the medication they need to help them feel better,” said Minister Selby.