Pharmacare Strengthened with addition of 227 new medications

February 6, 2014

Province Lowering Cost for Families
Dealing with Chronic Conditions: Minister Selby

Manitoba's pharmacare program has been expanded and enhanced, providing more affordability for families dealing with a number of health issues, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.

An additional 227 new drugs have been added to treat illnesses and chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis and blood clots.

"We're making it more affordable for families to get the medication they need to treat their conditions and live their lives to the fullest," said Minister Selby. "We don't want the barrier of medication costs to affect families and we know these new additions will make a real difference for many families."

Some of the new drugs added to the formulary include:

  • the Asmanex Twisthaler for the treatment of asthma
  • a new brand of Heparin for the preventative treatment of blood clots
  • the NovoRapid FlexTouch for the treatment of diabetes
  • Seebri for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Zenhale for the treatment of asthma
  • Humira for the treatment of a specific type of juvenile arthritis
  • Rituxan for the treatment of specific types of blood vessel inflammation.

Of the 227 drugs added, 212 are generic medications. The minister noted these additions are expected to save Manitoba families $4.5 million next year. Coverage for the new drugs began on Jan. 23.

Pharmacare is a universal, comprehensive prescription drug program for any Manitoban with benefits based on family income.  It covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of medical condition or age.

Over the last 12 years, approximately 3,500 new drugs including those that treat influenza, reduce the risk of heart attack, treat severe eczema and for the treatment of HIV have been added to Manitoba's world-class pharmacare program.

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