Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

New Brunswick

Prescription Drug Programs in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program (NBPDP) provides prescription drug benefits to eligible residents of New Brunswick. To apply for these benefits, a person must have a valid New Brunswick Medicare card (health card). If a person does not have a valid health card, they can contact New Brunswick Medicare to apply for one.

Ten different drug plans are available to eligible beneficiaries (there is no plan specifically for hepatitis C drugs):  

Coverage for Hepatitis C Medications

Coverage for hepatitis C medication varies depending on the drug plan for which people are eligible.  Eligible Social Assistance clients receive prescription drug coverage through Plan F (Social Development) and can apply to have their medications covered through this plan. Social Assistance case workers may request that their clients obtain a letter from their hepatitis specialist in order to receive coverage. Case workers are able to notify their clients about the documentation that is needed to apply for coverage given the individual’s personal health and financial circumstances.

Low-income families and individuals under the age of 65 who have high drug costs and do not receive Social Assistance will have to obtain coverage for prescription drugs through their place of employment or a private health insurance company, as there is no plan available for these residents.

In New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program outlines hepatitis C medications that are eligible for coverage.

Some jurisdictions have or are planning to remove restrictions on who qualifies for treatment coverage. Other jurisdictions have restrictions on who qualifies for treatment coverage. This may include requiring a certain level of liver injury (fibrosis stage). However, often a person can receive treatment coverage if they are experiencing hepatitis C-related health issues, are of child bearing age and are planning to get pregnant within the next 12 months, or are experiencing other health issues specified in the restrictions.

Hepatitis C medications may require special authorization before they can be covered.

If people require more information about treatment coverage or drug programs, they can call the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program at (506) 867-4515.

Registered First Nations and recognized Inuit people may be able to access coverage for their hepatitis C medications through the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program. People can contact NIHB by phone or mail at:

Non-Insured Health Benefits – Atlantic Region
First Nations and Inuit Health
Health Canada
1505 Barrington Street, Suite 1525
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3Y6                                                                                                                               

Toll-free: 1-800-565-3294

 

Costs and Coverage for Treatment in Canada

Some programs can be accessed by all Canadians. Examples include:

Private health insurance

Some health insurance policies offered through private insurance companies include coverage for prescription drugs. These programs often have their own deductible, or co-pay fee, and may have yearly maximums for prescription drugs.

Programs offered by pharmaceutical companies

The pharmaceutical companies that make Hep C medications have programs to help people complete treatment.

These programs have phone support for people on treatment, and part of this support is helping people to access the funding necessary to cover treatment costs. These programs can inform patients about local, provincial, and federal government programs for accessing treatment and can help the patient find out ways to maximize any public funding or private medical insurance (including the appeals process, if the patient also has a supportive doctor). If a person is eligible, some programs can help cover the insurance company co-pay fee, provincial or territorial plan's deductible, and a number of other expenses, depending on a person's specific situation.

AbbVie has the AbbVie Care Program for people taking Holkira Pak (dasabuvir, ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir) or Maviret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir). Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada has the CLAIRE Program for people taking Daklinza (daclatasvir). Gilead Sciences has the Momentum HCV Support Program for people taking Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir), Harvoni (sofosbuvir and ledipasvir), Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) or Vosevi (sofosbuvir, velpatasvir and voxilaprevir). Janssen has the Janssen BioAdvance Program for people taking Galexos (simeprevir). Merck has the Merck Care Hepatitis Program for people taking Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir).
 

For more information, contact:

 Merck Care Program

 1-866-872-5773

 Momentum Support Program (Gilead)

 1-855-447-7977

 Janssen BioAdvance Program

 bioadvance.ca

AbbVie Care 

1-844-471-2273

CLAIRE Program (Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada)

1-844-HCV-2559

People who contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion between 1986 and 1990 may be eligible to have hepatitis C treatment expenses covered by the Hepatitis C January 1, 1986 - July 1, 1990 Class Actions Settlement. To learn more about these programs, see Compensation.

Revised 2018.