Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island's Department of Health and Wellness offers various programs to help Islanders with the cost of their prescription drugs. The Hepatitis Program is specifically for people living with hepatitis C who require medications. This program also provides hepatitis A and B vaccines to people who may be at risk of acquiring these infections.
Coverage for Hepatitis C Medications
The Hepatitis Program covers the cost of the following hepatitis C medications for eligible applicants:
- peg-interferon and ribavirin
- Holkira Pak (dasabuvir + ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir)
To apply for coverage from the Hepatitis Program, Islanders who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C and have decided to undergo treatment can request that their specialist complete and submit the required application forms to the Department of Health and Wellness. When reviewing the application, the Chief Health Officer will consider the specialist's request and the patient's hepatitis C test results.
Some of the factors that may be considered when approving funding for hepatitis C medications include:
- a positive HCV RNA test
- HCV genotype
- level of fibrosis
- whether or not an individual is living with chronic hepatitis C
If the application is approved, medications will be provided free of charge. People will be provided with an educational session from their pharmacist to learn more about their medications and how to take them in order to get the best treatment response possible.
People not part of the Hepatitis Program who receive Social Assistance can apply to have their hepatitis C medications covered through the Financial Assistance Drug Program. This is the program provided to Social Assistance clients who require help with covering the cost of prescription and non-prescription drugs. People can ask their case workers about how they can get help paying for their hepatitis C medications.
For more information about drug programs in PEI or the Hepatitis Program, people can speak with their hepatitis C specialist or call Pharmacy Services at (902) 368-4947 or 1-877-577-3737.
If people qualify for one of the drug programs listed, they can also receive coverage for medications listed in the provincial drug formulary, including hepatitis C medications. Individuals who are co-infected with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C who require medications for both illnesses will need to apply to both the AIDS/HIV Program and the Hepatitis Program in order to receive coverage for their medications.
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