More drugs being covered by the province

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CNIB's David Hilchey, CCS's Jayna Stokes, Minister Robert Mitchell, CCS volunteer Belinda Montigny

Islanders will soon have help to pay for more of the prescription medications they need for a better quality of life.

The provincial government is improving the drug formulary by adding and expanding coverage for 28 new drugs beginning August 1. The new drugs will treat more than 260 Islanders with cancer, eye conditions, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cystic fibrosis, and several other illnesses.

“When people are living with an illness, it can be a challenge to cover medication costs,” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell said. “Adding these new drugs to the formulary will help Island families address those costs and let them focus on other priorities in life – including their recovery.”

The 13 new cancer drugs will offer treatment options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic lymphoma, melanoma, lung cancer, renal cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, and colorectal cancer.

“Expanding the formulary to include more cancer drugs gives Islanders greater treatment options to fight their disease,” said Jayna Stokes, manager of support services with the Canadian Cancer Society. “It also helps relieve some of the financial burden of cancer, which is one of many different challenges we must all work to address for cancer patients.”

Islanders will now have coverage for anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs for three additional eye conditions including diabetic macular edema, macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion, and choroidal neovascularisation. The province previously covered these drugs only for age-related macular degeneration.

"CNIB applauds the Government of Prince Edward Island for its decision to expand the drug formulary to include these three life-changing drugs," says David Hilchey, CNIB's board chair for Prince Edward Island. "This will provide much-needed assistance to the 25 Islanders afflicted with these eye conditions, who are currently paying upwards of $14,000 per year out of pocket." 

For the first time ever, Prince Edward Island will provide drug coverage for adults with ADHD; there are at least 60 Islanders who will benefit.

Three new drugs are being added to support Islanders with cystic fibrosis, as well as drugs for ulcerative colitis, overactive bladder, Dravet syndrome (severe form of pediatric epilepsy), hepatic encephalopathy, and pulmonary hypertension.

“For many Islanders, their quality of life is tied to their medications,” Minister Mitchell added. “With this over $3 million investment, we are continuing to create access to new medications and to make them more affordable, so patients can focus on getting well.”

The Province’s balanced 2018-19 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 clinical priority recommendations for the addition of drugs to the drug formularies.

For more on the provincial formulary and drug programs, visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/pharmacare.

Media contact:
Autumn Tremere



The Government of Prince Edward Island helps Islanders with the cost of eligible prescription medications, certain medical supplies, and pharmacy services through PEI Pharmacare.

The PEI Pharmacare Formulary is a list of prescription medications and medical supplies approved for coverage through PEI Pharmacare.

Effective August 1, 2018, the following 28 drugs and conditions will be 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:


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Concerta, Biphentin and Vyvanse

All three of these medications are being added to cover attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for adults greater than 25 years of age




Abraxane is being added for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer


Avastin is being added for the treatment of cervical cancer - metastatic, persistent, or recurrent carcinoma of the cervix.

Cotellic in combination with Zelboraf

This combination of drugs is being added for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation


Gazyva, in combination with chlorambucil is being added for previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) where fludarabine based therapy is considered inappropriate


Herceptin is being added for the treatment of metastatic gastric (stomach) cancer


Imbruvica is being added as a treatment option for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who have received at least one prior therapy and are considered inappropriate for treatment or re-treatment with a fludarabine-based regimen


Inlyta is being added as a second line treatment option for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC)


Kadcyla is being added as a second line treatment option for patients with HER2-positive, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer


Opdivo is being added for the treatment of

unresectable or metastatic melanoma BRAF wild-type melanoma

advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer

advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma


Treanda is being added as a first line treatment option of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for patients who cannot tolerate fludarabine-based regimens 


Vectibix is being added as a third line treatment option for metastatic colorectal cancer


Xalkori is being added as a first-line treatment for patients with  ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer


Cystic Fibrosis (CF)


Kalydeco is being added for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients with the G551D mutation


Cayston is being added for the treatment of cystic fibrosis with chronic pulmonary pseudomonas aeruginosa infections


Pulmozyme is being added for the treatment of cystic fibrosis




Diacomit is being added for the treatment for Dravet syndrome, a severe pediatric    form of epilepsy


Eye care

Avastin*, Eylea and Lucentis

                All three of these medications are being added to the formulary for the treatment of:

diabetic macular edema (DME)

Macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion (RVO)

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV)


Liver disease


Zaxine is being added for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy


Overactive bladder


                Myrbetriq is being added for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB)


Pulmonary hypertension


Adempas is being added for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension


Ulcerative colitis

Entyvio, Humira and Inflectra/Remicade

All three of these medications are being added for the treatment of ulcerative colitis


*Avastin is being added to the formulary for two different indications – eye care and cervical cancer

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