120 drugs added to Pharmacare 0
The Province of Manitoba added 120 generic drugs to Pharmacare, Monday, in order to ease costs for patients and for taxpayers. The list included many different drugs as well as a number of diabetes products, which will be available at the lower cost immediately. (FILE PHOTO)
The Province of Manitoba hopes to save $12 million this year after it added another 120 drugs to Pharmacare, Monday.
“When brand name drugs go generic it’s always a benefit to the patient because of the lower cost, and the Province is saving money too. We are required to stock that new lowest price drug and substitute it for the brand name,” said Ken Marek, co-owner of Hill’s Drug Store in Portage la Prairie.“The drugs is completely equivalent, which means there is no change in its actual ability for the body to metabolize it. It has the same effect for half the price.”
Since 1999 over 3,000 new drugs have been added to the Pharmacare program to not only increase affordability for families but to save the Province money as well.
The changes to Pharmacare, announced Monday, included: Pradax and Xarelto for prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation; Stelara for psoriasis; Victrelis and Victrelis Triple for hepatitis C; and Zelboraf for the treatment of skin cancer.
Changes were also made to include a number of diabetes products, including the Accu-Chek Mobile Blood Glucose Test Cassette, the Ulticare Pen Needle 32 gauge, and a variety of different test strips.
Marek also noted that cholesterol drug Crestor was added to the list, at a greatly reduced price.
“It comes in various strengths, it will be generic and the price will be substantially lower. It’s always a lot higher price. As an example the lowest price in that category for one month’s supply would have been about $54. Now with the generic it will be about $25,” said Marek.
The Province often makes these changes, called formularies, after the license expires on brand name drugs. They then put out a tender for the lowest price.
“Every so often they will (add more) – depending on what’s available out there in generic (drugs) and what has changed. Whoever comes up the lowest in the different types of generic companies has that particular listing. Those are the ones that we have to choose, the lowest price ones,” said Marek.
Other drug companies will the match the price as well to keep up with supply and demand.
Coverage of the new medications is effective immediately.
For more information visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/mdbif.