Hepatitis C: An In-Depth Guide

Yukon

Prescription Drug Programs in Yukon

General information on drug coverage and benefit programs offered by the provincial, territorial and federal governments can be found here.

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 – Yukon Region
First Nations and Inuit Health
Health Canada
300 Main Street, Suite 100
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2B5                                                                                                                    

Toll-free: 1-866-362-6717

Coverage for Hepatitis C Medications

In Yukon, hepatitis specialists or nurses can apply, on their patient’s behalf, for drug benefits from the Chronic Disease Program. This program is designed to assist people with chronic diseases, including hepatitis C, by providing them with financial assistance to cover the cost of their medications. For Social Assistance recipients, the cost of hepatitis C medications is automatically covered by this program.

The following hepatitis C medications are included in the Yukon drug formulary, a list of drugs that are eligible for coverage:

  • peg-interferon and ribavirin
  • Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir)
  • Holkira Pak (dasabuvir + ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir)
  • sofosbuvir (taken in combination with peg-interferon and/or ribavirin)
  • simeprevir (taken in combination with peg-interferon and ribavirin)

 These hepatitis C medications require Exception Drug Status before they will be covered by the Chronic Disease Program or Pharmacare. To apply for coverage for these medications, a person can ask their specialist to complete and submit a written application to either the Chronic Disease Program or Pharmacare. The application will be reviewed by the Formulary Working Group to determine if the medications will be covered.

Some of the factors that may be considered when approving funding for hepatitis C medications include:

  • whether or not an individual is living with chronic hepatitis C
  • level of fibrosis
  • HCV genotype
  • a positive HCV RNA test
  • HIV status

If the request is approved, the person will receive up to one full term of treatment.

If people would like more information about Pharmacare, the Chronic Disease Program or the Children’s Drug and Optical Program, they can call 1-867-667-5092.

 

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. Merck has the Merck Care program for people taking peg-interferon alpha-2b (known as Pegetron). Hoffman-La Roche has the Pegassist program for people taking peg-interferon alpha-2a (known as Pegasys). Vertex has the Incivek Care program for people taking telaprevir (known as Incivek). Gilead Sciences has the Momentum Support program for people taking sofosbuvir (known as Sovaldi).

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.

Janssen has the Galexos: BioAdvance Patient Support Program for people taking simeprevir (known as Galexos).

AbbVie has the AbbVie Care Program for people taking Holkira Pak.

For more information, contact:

 Pegassist Program

 1-877-PEGASYS (1-877-734-2797)

 Merck Care Program

 1-866-872-5773

 Incivek Care Program

 1-877-574-4298

Momentum Support Program 

1-855-447-7977

Galexos: BioAdvance Patient Support Program

1-855-512-3740

AbbVie Care

1-844-471-2273

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 2014.