Health

PharmaCare modernizes Reference Drug Program

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Health

PharmaCare modernizes Reference Drug Program

Contacts
Kristy Anderson
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
Contacts
Kristy Anderson
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)

Backgrounders

Changes under the Modernized Reference Drug Program

The Modernized Reference Drug Program is part of PharmaCare, British Columbia’s public drug program. All British Columbians are eligible for PharmaCare coverage (actual reimbursement is based on the rules of a patient’s PharmaCare plan, including any annual deductible.)

The changes to the Reference Drug Program come into effect Dec. 1, 2016, with a six-month transition period starting on June 1, 2016, and are as follows:

  • The addition of three new drug categories to the program:
    • Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs), which treat high blood pressure and heart disease;
    • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), which treat stomach acid issues, such as acid reflux or ulcers;
    • Statins, which treat high cholesterol.
  • The reference drug in three categories will change to a less expensive alternative:
    • Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEIs), which treat high blood pressure and heart disease;
    • Dihydropyridine Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs), which also treat high blood pressure and heart disease;
    • Histamine2 Receptor Blockers (H2 Blockers), which treat stomach acid issues, such as acid reflux or ulcers.

The following categories in the program will not change:

  • Nitrates, which treat heart disease ;
  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs), which treat pain and reduce swelling (inflammation.)

Learn More:

For further details about the changes, including a full listing of the medications affected, please visit:  www.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/referencedrugprogram

For supporting materials and information for health professionals such as doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare/rdp-pro

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