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February 14, 2013
For immediate release

Two new medications will be available through Pharmacare Program

Health and Wellness

Government is pleased to add two new medications to the Prince Edward Island drug formulary, says Minister of Health and Wellness Doug Currie.

“Effective February 18, Pradaxa and Xarelto will be available through our provincial Pharmacare Program,” said Minister Currie. “These medications will provide an alternative to manage certain individuals’ risk of having a stroke. For many Islanders their quality of life is tied to their medications – through this announcement, and the progress we are making in our pharmacare program, we are working to provide increased access to the medications Islanders need most.”

The medications Pradaxa and Xarelto are being added to PEI Pharmacare for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with an abnormal heart rhythm (non-valvular atrial fibrillation) and who cannot be treated with Warfarin. About 1,900 Islanders are currently receiving Warfarin through PEI Pharmacare Programs for atrial fibrillation and other conditions.

Charlotte Comrie, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation in PEI, is pleased with the news that the Department of Health and Wellness is adding these medications to the provincial formulary. “It is important and often vital, that physicians have a variety of medications to choose from in order to achieve optimal outcomes for individuals who are experiencing issues with clot formation or heart arrhythmias. We commend the PEI Department of Health and Wellness for deciding to add these drugs to the formulary.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing progress Government has been making 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.”

These new medications will be available through the following PEI Pharmacare Programs: Family Health Benefit Drug Program, Financial Assistance Drug Program, Nursing Home Drug Program, and Seniors Drug Program. Patients must meet both the clinical and program criteria to be eligible for coverage.

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 For details on the provincial drug programs, visit


Effective February 18, 2013, the following two medications will be added to the Prince Edward Island Pharmacare Program:

• Dabigatran (more commonly known by the brand name Pradaxa) is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim;

• Rivaroxaban (more commonly known by the brand name Xarelto) is manufactured by Bayer.

Coverage will be included in the following PEI Pharmacare Programs:

• Family Health Benefit Drug Program

• Financial Assistance Drug Program

• Nursing Home Drug Program

• Seniors Drug Program

To be eligible for these medications through the identified PEI Pharmacare programs, a physician will be required to submit a Special Authorization form, and patients will be required to meet clinical criteria which will include the patient being diagnosed with the condition and have had a failure or a contraindication to warfarin therapy.

Both medications have been identified as priority medications by Canadian jurisdictions and were two of the first medications reviewed by the Pan-Canadian Purchasing Alliance.

Media Contact: Autumn Tremere
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