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February 10, 2016
For immediate release

New drugs now covered by the province give patients and physicians more access and choice

Health and Wellness

Islanders now have more affordable access to medications with the recent addition of new drugs to the provincial formulary and expanded coverage of several drugs, says Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson.

“Making medications more affordable for Islanders is a major government priority,” said Minister Henderson. “We continue to add drugs and expand coverage as part of our commitment to achieve parity with Atlantic drug formularies within the next two years.”

The new drugs added in December and January are: Lodalis for the treatment of high cholesterol; Monurol for the treatment of urinary tract infections; and Jaydess, an intrauterine device that delivers the drug Levonorgestrel continuously for up to 3 years.

Coverage has been expanded for: Cimzia for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis; Xtandi for the treatment of prostate cancer; Risperidone for the treatment of schizophrenia; and Gilenya for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Minister Henderson said the province continues to provide Islanders with more affordable access to medications in several ways. “By adding drugs to the formulary, we are covering drugs that were not listed in the past. When we expand coverage for drugs already on the formulary, we are offering patients and physicians increased access to drug choices that may better suit the patient’s needs. By introducing new drug cost assistance programs such as the Generic Drug Program, we are making it easier for Islanders to get their medications and take them appropriately. By participating in pan-Canadian drug pricing initiatives, we are able to get better prices and in turn, give patients increased access and choice.”

The recent additions and expanded coverage were made possible through Prince Edward Island’s participation in the Pan Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance which negotiates drug pricing for provinces and territories and allows them to enhance their formularies through lower prices.

In Prince Edward Island, the order in which new drugs are added to the provincial formulary is based on recommendations from the Provincial Drugs and Therapeutics Committee, after review and recommendation from pan-Canadian advisory committees of the Common Drug Review and pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review processes.

Approximately 290 new drugs have been added or had their coverage expanded on the provincial formulary since 2007. A Catastrophic Drug Plan was established in 2013 to assist families whose drug costs reach a point where they are impacting their ability to maintain life’s essentials. A new Hepatitis C management program was introduced last year to move patients from treatment to cure. A new Generic Drug Plan, established in 2015, caps the price of generic prescriptions at $19.95 for uninsured Islanders under age 65.

More than $33 million was invested last year by the provincial government in drug cost assistance. More information on provincial drug programs is available at www.healthpei.ca/drugprograms

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Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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