P.E.I. adds 3 new medications to provincial drug program

Three new medications were recently added to P.E.I.'s drug program.

Drugs to help high cholesterol, urinary tract infections and an intrauterine device new to P.E.I formulary

P.E.I. recently added three new drugs to the provincial formulary and expanded coverage for four others. (Michael Fazio/CBC)

Three new medications recently added to P.E.I.'s drug program will help patients with high cholesterol, urinary tract infections and birth control.

The drugs added to the provincial formulary in December and January are:

  • Lodalis for the treatment of high cholesterol.
  • Monurol for urinary tract infections.
  • Jaydess, an intrauterine device that delivers the drug Levonorgestrel continuously for up to three years.

The province has also expanded coverage for four drugs:

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  • Cimzia for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Xtandi for prostate cancer.
  • Risperidone for schizophrenia.
  • Gilenya for multiple sclerosis.

P.E.I. Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson says the province has added about 290 drugs to its formulary since 2007. (CBC)

"It's to get some consistency between the formularies between the Atlantic provinces, especially the Maritime provinces. And when you can get that sense of consistency, every individual is treated fairly within this region," Henderson told CBC News.

He said the province hopes to achieve parity with its Atlantic counterparts within the next two years.

The addition of new drugs, expanded coverage and initiatives like the cost-assistance generic drug program, which launched in October, are made possible by the province's participation in the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, he said.

Formed by the provinces and territories in 2010, the alliance co-ordinates bulk buying and reduces costs for publicly funded drug programs.

"We are taking what savings we get and reinvesting right back into medications that will help Islanders have better health outcomes," Henderson said.

About 290 new drugs have been added to the province's formulary since 2007, said Henderson.