More drugs being covered by the province
Hundreds of Islanders now have help to pay for more prescription medications as six new drugs were added to the provincial drug formulary August 1.
Drugs were added to the formulary to improve access for patients with arthritis, diabetes, COPD, lung cancer, heart failure and for those receiving radiation therapy. The overall annual investment for the new drugs is approximately $750,000.
“Access to medications is extremely important for the treatment of many different illnesses and diseases,” said Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward. “Medications can be expensive. By adding these priority drugs to the formulary, we are financially helping hundreds of Islanders and letting them focus on what’s truly important to them and their families.”
Islanders will now have greater access to inhaled therapies for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) as the result of updated COPD treatment guidelines. Lung cancer patients will now have access to the drug Keytruda, a lifesaving drug which can cost upward of $75,000 a year for each individual.
“The PEI Lung Association is extremely pleased to see these additions to the provincial drug formulary. Improving access to these medications is vital to improving lung health for patients who live with COPD and lung cancer,” said Robert MacDonald, executive director, PEI Lung Association.
The Province’s 2019-20 budget committed to enhancing access to medications. The Provincial Drugs and Therapeutics Committee – composed of health care professionals including physicians, pharmacists, nurse managers, and a member of the public - provides the recommendations for the addition of drugs to the drug formularies.
The Government of Prince Edward Island helps Islanders with the cost of eligible prescription medications, certain medical supplies, and pharmacy services through PEI Pharmacare Programs.
The PEI Pharmacare Formulary is a list of prescription medications and medical supplies approved for coverage through PEI Pharmacare.
Effective August 1, 2019, the following six drugs and conditions were added to the PEI Pharmacare Formulary and/or the hospital formulary. Patients must meet both the clinical and program criteria to be eligible for coverage:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Greater access to inhaled therapies used for the treatment of COPD.
Metoject is a new dosage form of methotrexate in a prefilled syringe being added to the formulary for severe disabling psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and severe disabling rheumatoid arthritis.
Increased access to ondansetron (Zofran) for the treatment of nausea and vomiting for patients receiving radiation therapy.
Jardiance and Synjardy are being added for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes with a high cardiovascular risk.
Entresto and Lancora are being added to the formulary for patients with heart failure (NYHA class II or III).
Keytruda is being added to the hospital formulary for patients battling lung cancer, first line and second line treatment.