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November 29, 2012
For immediate release

Expanding the provincial drug formulary

Health and Wellness

New medications are being added to the provincial drug formulary, effective January 21, 2013, says Health and Wellness Minister Doug Currie.

“These medications will support hundreds of Islanders facing various health conditions, including asthma, AIDS, rosacea, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and overactive bladder,” said Minister Currie. “By adding drugs to our formulary, we are giving Islanders more choice and lessening the burden of prescription drug costs for patients and their families.”

The province is adding coverage of ten medications to the provincial drug programs. Patients must meet both the clinical and program criteria to be eligible for coverage.

Of the ten medications, one falls under the high-cost drug category, Votrient, for Islanders facing advanced renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer.

Three medications will be added to the AIDS/HIV Program to treat HIV infection.

The remaining six medications will be available to patients through the Family Health Benefit, Financial Assistance / Children-In-Care, Nursing Home, and Seniors’ Drug Cost Assistance Programs.

“Access to the proper medications can mean the difference between life and death for some individuals,” said Lori Barker, Executive Director of the PEI Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. “This announcement is especially good news for the 160 Island men who are estimated to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis and for the 30 Islanders who will receive news this year that they have kidney cancer.”

“AIDS PEI is pleased to hear of the three new additions, of HIV/AIDS drugs, to the Provincial Drug Formulary,” said Alana Leard Executive Director of AIDS PEI. “With World AIDS Day right around the corner (December 1), it comes in a very timely manner to remind us that increased access to treatment options is very important in the health of people living with HIV/AIDS.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing progress Government has been making since 2007 to improve the quality of health care in Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Currie. “Since 2007, Government has increased spending on drug programs by 42%, to a total of $33.4 million this fiscal year. This is great news, but we know that there is still more work to be done and our department will continue working to provide Islanders quality, accessible health care services.”

The increase in drug program spending this year is partially a result of the fair drug pricing reform implemented in summer 2012. For more information on the fair drug prices initiative, visit www.gov.pe.ca/fairdrugprices. For details on the provincial drug programs, visit www.healthpei.ca/drugprograms.

BACKGROUNDER

The following is a breakdown of medications that will be added to Prince Edward Island’s drug formulary, effective January 21, 2013. The condition for which the drug is prescribed is listed in brackets.

Coverage of the following medications will be provided through the High Cost Drugs program to patients who meet established clinical criteria. An income assessment will also be completed to determine the patient co-pay.

• Votrient (Cancer - metastatic renal cell carcinoma)

Coverage of the following medications will be provided to patients who meet established clinical criteria and who qualify through the Family Health Benefit, Financial Assistance / Children-In-Care, Nursing Home, and Seniors’ Drug Cost Assistance Programs.

• *Asmanex (Asthma)

• *Finacea (Rosacea - chronic facial skin condition)

• *Firmagon (Cancer - Advanced prostate cancer)

• Onbrez (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - COPD)

• Toviaz (Overactive bladder)

• Visanne (Pain associated with endometriosis)

Coverage of the following medications will be provided to patients who meet established clinical criteria and who qualify through the AIDS/HIV Program.

• *Complera (HIV infection)

• *Edurant (HIV infection)

• Prezista (HIV infection in treatment experienced children)

Drugs identified with an asterisk (*) are covered as open benefits through the identified drug programs.

Patients receiving treatment for these medications who wish to inquire further about available coverage, should contact PEI Pharmacare at (902) 368-4947 or toll-free at 1-877-577-3737.

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Media Contact: Autumn Tremere
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