Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Northwest Territories

Prescription Drug Programs in the Northwest Territories

The Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) provides coverage of prescription drugs through Alberta Blue Cross. People need to have a Health Care Card before they can apply for drug coverage. People who do not have a health card can contact the NWT Health Care Plan.

In the NWT, there are three programs that help eligible residents cover the cost of their prescription drugs:

Métis Health Benefits (MHB)

  • Covers the total cost of eligible health services and prescription drugs, including hepatitis C medications, for indigenous Métis residents.

Prescription Drugs and Dental Benefits for Seniors

  • Covers a portion or the total cost of prescription drugs and dental care for NWT residents who are 65 and older.

Extended Health Benefits (EHB) for Specified Diseases

  • Covers a portion or the total cost of prescription drugs for people living with certain diseases and conditions.

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.

NIHB is a federal program that provides eligible First Nations and Inuit people with coverage for many prescription drugs and health services.  People can contact NIHB by phone or mail at:

Non-Insured Health Benefits – Northwest Territories and Nunavut Region
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Address Locator: 6604C
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9                                                                                            

Toll-free: 1-888-332-9222

Coverage for Hepatitis C Medications

In the NWT, coverage for hepatitis C medications may vary depending on an individual's prescription drug program.

Income Assistance (IA) recipients can speak to their case workers to find out about getting their medications covered through their IA health benefits. If people do not have prescription drug coverage, they can apply for Extended Health Benefits (EHB) by completing an EHB application form. A letter will be sent to applicants informing them if their hepatitis C medications will be covered through the EHB program.

In the Northwest Territories, the NIHB formulary lists hepatitis C medications that are eligible for coverage by both the NWT government and Health Canada.

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.

For more information about programs that may be able to help cover the costs of hepatitis C medications, contact the NWT Department of Health and Social Services at 1-800-661-0830.

 

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.