Sunday, November 30, 2008

Prescription drug program under review

From the Fredericton (NB) Daily Gleaner:
The feds need to chip in to improve access to drugs for those with a serious illness, says New Brunswick's health minister.

Four health charities met with Mike Murphy recently to urge him to introduce a catastrophic drug program for New Brunswick that would provide better coverage for people battling serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and arthritis.

Provincial chapters of the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Diabetes Association reminded Murphy that New Brunswick is one of only two provinces without a catastrophic drug program.

Murphy said he's hoping to change the way the drug program determines who's eligible for provincial coverage.

"This review will focus on providing drug coverage based on the ability to pay rather than on age or disease, which is now the case with the existing prescription drug program," he said.

"We will complete this review within the next year and we'll then know what is doable and at what cost."

Murphy said he met with health ministers from across the country two months ago and a big part of their discussion was devoted to the National Pharmaceuticals Strategy. ...more

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