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July 22, 2005
For immediate release

PEI Government Announces Coverage for Alzheimer's Drugs

Health and Social Services

Three Alzheimer’s drugs – Aricept, Exelon, and Reminyl – have been approved for coverage under PEI’s provincial drug program, effective July 1, 2005, Minister of Health and Social Services Chester Gillan announced today.

The decision is based on the recommendation of the Atlantic Expert Advisory Committee. The committee, made up of physicians, pharmacists and other experts from across Atlantic Canada, recommended that coverage be provided to Alzheimer’s patients with mild to moderate symptoms, who are assessed by their doctors as likely to benefit.

“I am extremely pleased that we are able to provide coverage for these medications,” says Minister Gillan. “It is our hope that the drugs will enhance the quality of life of those affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. “

The medications are eligible for coverage under the following drug programs: Family Health Benefit, Financial Assistance, Nursing Home, and Seniors Drug Cost Assistance Plan. Physicians may request coverage for patients eligible for any of these programs by submitting a written request to the Drug Programs office.

Patients who have not used one of the Alzheimer’s Disease medications will first receive 90 days of coverage to determine whether they are likely to benefit from, and can tolerate, continued use of these medications.

Patients already shown to benefit from use of one of these medications may be approved for up to 12 months of coverage at a time.

For more information regarding coverage and eligibility, please contact the PEI Drug Program office at (902) 368-4947, or toll free at 1-887-577-3737.

Media Contact: Darlene Gillis
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