News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 14, 2015

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT ADDING 94 NEW MEDICATIONS TO PHARMACARE PROGRAM


New Drugs to Support Patients Living with Diabetes: Minister Blady

An additional 94 new drugs, including two to support patients living with diabetes, will be covered under Manitoba’s pharmacare program starting next week, Health Minister Sharon Blady said today.

“When people are living with a chronic condition like diabetes, it can be a challenge to cover medication costs,” said Minister Blady.  “Adding these new drugs to the formulary will help Manitoba families address those costs and let them focus on other priorities as they receive the care they need.”

Two of the new drugs being added to the formulary are Komboglyze and Levemir, which are used for the treatment of diabetes.

“The costs of some long-acting insulins make it hard for people to manage their diabetes and sometimes the consequences can be serious,” said Deanna Ratt, a Winnipegger living with Type 2 diabetes who volunteers with the Canadian Diabetes Association.  “This coverage will make a real difference for many people in Manitoba, reducing the effects of diabetes while helping them stay healthier longer.”

“We commend the Manitoba government for its decision to expand the medications covered by the pharmacare program.  This is great news for people living with diabetes in Manitoba,” said Andrea Kwasnicki, Manitoba regional director, Canadian Diabetes Association.  “By expanding pharmacare, people living with diabetes and their health-care providers will now have additional choices to help better manage their diabetes.”  

Some of the other new drugs added to the formulary include:

  • Aubagio, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis;
  • Esbriet, for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis;
  • Galexos, for the treatment of Hepatitis C;
  • Invega Sustenna, for the treatment of schizophrenia;
  • Stivarga, for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors;
  • TOBI Podhaler, for the treatment of cystic fibrosis;
  • Actemra, for the treatment of polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; and
  • a new strength of Xeomin, for the treatment of uncontrolled twitching of the neck and eye muscles. 

Of the 94 drugs added, 80 are generic medications.  The minister noted these additions are expected to save Manitoba families $3.9 million a year and coverage for the new drugs will begin on Jan. 19.

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 4,000 new drugs, including those that treat cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary embolism and schizophrenia, have been added to Manitoba’s world-class pharmacare program, Minister Blady said.

For more information on pharmacare, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/pharmacare/

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