For Immediate Release
April 20, 2011
25 medications to be added to the Provincial Drug

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI -- Twenty-five drugs are being added to the provincial formulary, making it much easier for Islanders to access these necessary medications, says Health and Wellness Minister Carolyn Bertram. “These medications will support thousands of Islanders facing various health conditions, including arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, growth hormone deficiency, blood clotting and others,” said Minister Bertram. It is estimated that 7,000 Island patients are clinically eligible for these medications which will become part of the provincial formulary, effective May 16, 2011. Of the 25 medications, Prince Edward Island is adding four medications under the high-cost drugs category: • Orencia (expanded accessibility in Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis); • Rituxan (Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis); • Simponi (Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Psoriatic Arthritis); and • Volibris (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension) “Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing progress Government has been making since 2007 to improve the quality of health care in Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Bertram. “Since 2007, Government has added or expanded coverage of almost 150 drugs, and has increased drug spending by 34 per cent from 2007 to 2010. Our government is committed to continue working to meet the health care needs of Islanders both for today and for the future.” Also part of today’s announcement is the addition of Apidra, a medication which supports patients with Type I and Type II Diabetes Mellitus which will now be covered under the Diabetes Drug Program. Omnitrope will now be available under the Growth Hormone Drug Program. Advagraf, a drug to help prevent kidney organ rejection, will be available through the Transplant Drug Program. The remaining 18 medications will all be available through the Family Health Benefit Drug Program, the Financial Assistance Drug Program, the Seniors Drug Program and the Nursing Home Drug Program. Patients receiving treatment should contact their physician to inquire about coverage for any of the medications announced today. Patients must meet established clinical criteria for many of the medications. The following is a breakdown of medications that will be added to Prince Edward Island’s drug formulary, effective May 16, 2011. Simponi - Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis; Ankylosing - Spondylitis; Psoriatic Arthritis Volibris - Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Azarga - Elevated Intraocular Pressure (patients with open-angle glaucoma or Zymar - Bacterial Conjunctivitis (associated with eye surgery) Vigamox - Bacterial Conjunctivitis (associated with eye surgery) Apidra - Type I and Type II Diabetes Mellitus Xarelto - Venous Thromboembolism (following total hip or knee replacement) Advagraf - Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection (kidney) Innohep - Prevention and treatment of blood clots in patients unable to use warfarin or heparin. Issued at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island by For more information, please contac, Health and Wellness by email or phone (902) 368-5610.



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