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New drugs added to pharmacare

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The province has added more new drugs to the medicare formulary and negotiated lower drug prices, Health Minister Erin Selby said today.

The lower prices will save the pharmacare program $3.9 million per year, Selby said in a statement.

Pharmacare is a universal prescription drug program for Manitobans with benefits based on family income. It covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached regardless of medical condition or age.

Selby said five new drugs were added to the as a result of Manitoba's participation in the Pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance. The alliance was created in 2010 to help provinces and territories leverage their collective purchasing power to secure lower prices for prescription drugs.

The five new drugs are:

  • Cimzia, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Eliquis, for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation;
  • Onbrez, for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Stribild, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection; and
  • Xalkori, for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

The province has also worked to add more generic versions of prescription drugs which also reduce provincial drug costs, she said.

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