The British Columbia PharmaCare (BC PharmaCare) is modernizing the Reference Drug Program (RDP). Effective immediately, transitional coverage is in place to allow affected patients to switch drugs, if needed, to retain full PharmaCare coverage. During transition, PharmaCare will cover all Modernized RDP fully covered drugs and all original RDP fully covered and partially covered drugs. As of December 1, 2016, only the drug coverage status under the Modernized RDP will apply.
The RDP was introduced in 1995 to encourage cost-effective prescribing for common medical conditions without compromising patient care. PharmaCare reviews the cost of the drugs within each category and determines a maximum daily cost it will cover. Fully covered (“reference”) drugs are not subject to the daily maximum; partially covered (“non-reference”) drugs are.
The modernized RDP program:
- adds three new categories (Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors and HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors) in which drugs are equally safe and effective, and
- amends three of the original categories (Histamine2 Receptor Blockers, Dihydropyridine Calcium Channel Blockers and Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibitors) by changing the PharmaCare coverage of specific drugs within those categories, and
- leaves two original categories (Nitrates and NSAIDs) unchanged.
For more information, please refer to the June 1, 2016 PharmaCare Newsletter.