Moving towards Universal Coverage of Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapies for Hepatitis C Infection in Canada: An Environmental Scan of Canadian Provinces and International Jurisdictions

Authors

  • Samantha Myers College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Gurleen Khosa College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • I fan Kuo College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Donica Janzen College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Silvia Alessi-Severini College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6543-7719

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18433/jpps30220

Abstract

Background: Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have become the standard treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C infections because of their high cure rates and favourable side effect profiles; however, access to this new class of agents has been limited because of its high cost.  Public payers across Canada have implemented strict criteria for drug coverage in order to contain expenditures. Efforts have been made to improve access to medication for this high-burden condition. Recent coverage criteria across national and international jurisdictions have been compared.Methods: Coverage criteria for several DAAs were reviewed by accessing Canadian provincial drug formularies. International coverage (e.g., Europe, Australia, United States, Egypt, India) was reviewed by searching available literature. Results: Coverage criteria vary across Canada. By April 2018, most Canadian jurisdictions had removed the stage 2 liver fibrosis requirement for patients to be eligible for coverage. Internationally, patients’ access to DAAs differs significantly. Many jurisdictions restrict DAA prescribing authority to specialists and request documentation of chronic hepatitis C. In the US, considerable gaps of coverage are identifiable and patients might face significant financial burden to receive treatment. Conclusion: DAAs appear to be generally accessible through public drug plans in Canada compared to other countries.

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Author Biography

Silvia Alessi-Severini, College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Adjunct Scientist, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy

 

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Published

2018-11-06

How to Cite

Myers, S., Khosa, G., Kuo, I. fan, Janzen, D., & Alessi-Severini, S. (2018). Moving towards Universal Coverage of Direct-Acting Antiviral Therapies for Hepatitis C Infection in Canada: An Environmental Scan of Canadian Provinces and International Jurisdictions. Journal of Pharmacy &Amp; Pharmaceutical Sciences, 21(1s), 271s–308s. https://doi.org/10.18433/jpps30220

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Pharmacy Practice, Education & Socioeconomy Original Article