Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide
Newfoundland and Labrador
The Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP) provides financial assistance to people who need help paying for their prescription drugs, so that all residents of Newfoundland and Labrador have access to the medications they need.
The NLPDP offers four plans:
- Covers 100% of the cost of eligible prescription drugs, including medications for hepatitis C, for people who receive Income Support Benefits (ISB) and certain individuals receiving services through the Regional Health Authorities.
- Provides prescription drug coverage to people 65 years of age or older who receive Old Age Security (OAS) benefits and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). The plan does not cover dispensing fees.
- Provides families and individuals with low incomes access to prescription drug coverage. The amount of coverage is based on net income level and family status. Helps individuals, couples without children, and families with children, including single-parent families, with limited incomes.
- For individuals and families whose income is affected by the burden of high drug costs. People pay a percentage (5%, 7.5% or 10%) of their net annual income.
Coverage for Hepatitis C Medications
Coverage for hepatitis C medications varies depending on the drug plan and income level of applicants. The Access Plan and Assurance Plan may be of particular interest to people with hepatitis C, as they are intended to help pay for the high cost of eligible drugs. People who receive Income Support Benefits can apply to have their medications covered through the Foundation Plan.
The following hepatitis C medications are included in the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial drug formulary as drugs that are eligible for coverage:
- peg-interferon and ribavirin
- Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir)
- Holkira Pak (dasabuvir + ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir)
- simeprevir (taken in combination with peg-interferon and ribavirin)
- sofosbuvir (taken in combination with peg-interferon and/or ribavirin)
These medications require Special Authorization before they can be covered under the different drug plans listed above.
To apply for special authorization, people can ask their specialist to complete the Special Authorization Request Form and submit it to the Department of Health and Community Services. The request will be reviewed against the criteria for coverage to determine if the medications will be covered. Once the application has been reviewed, both the specialist and the applicant will receive a letter about whether or not the medications will be covered.
Some of the factors that are considered when approving funding for hepatitis C medications include:
- a positive HCV RNA test
- HCV genotype
- ALT levels or level of fibrosis
- whether or not an individual is living with chronic hepatitis C
- whether or not an individual is treatment naïve
- HIV status
If the request is approved, people will have their medications covered for up to one full course of treatment.
If people would like more information about the different drug plans in Newfoundland and Labrador, they can contact the Department of Health and Community Services by calling (709) 729–4984.
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
1505 Barrington Street, Suite 1525
Halifax, Nova Scotia