More than 1,000 Islanders benefit from Substance Use Harm Reduction Drug Program 

In the last year approximately 1,100 Island residents have accessed medications through the Substance Use Harm Reduction Drug Program (SUHRP).
The program, which was launched on June 1, 2022, has saved program clients close to $1 million in out-of-pocket costs for their medications. 

“Accessing medications without financial burden is an important component of health care. Under this program, Island residents with opioid or alcohol use disorders have been able to access these life-saving medications without worrying about how to pay.”

- Health and Wellness Minister Mark McLane

Under SUHRP, eligible Island residents receiving treatment for alcohol or opiate dependency can access prescriptions of Methadone, Suboxone, Probuphine and Sublocade used in management of opioid dependency as well as alcohol dependency medications Acamprosate and Naltrexone for no out of pocket expense.

“Thanks to this program, physicians now have the tools to treat all patients equally. Access to these medications has made my job as an addictions physician much easier and more satisfying,” said Dr. Dave Stewart, who works with Islanders at the province’s Addiction Treatment Centre. “P.E.I. is now a leading jurisdiction when it comes to covering drugs for the treatment of alcohol addiction. Coverage of these medications has been a real game changer for many patients and their families.”

The program is supported by the federal-provincial Improving Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs Program (IAAPD). Under the funding agreement signed in March 2022, the province will receive $35 million over four years in federal funding, to add new drugs to its list of covered drugs, and lower out of pocket costs for drugs covered under existing public plans for Island residents.

All Islanders with a PEI Health Card and permanent PEI resident as defined by the Drug Cost Assistance Act are eligible for the program. More info on eligibility and application can be found at: Substance Use Harm Reduction Drug Program.

Media contact:
Morgan Martin        
Health and Wellness
(902) 218-3430

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