B.C. PharmaCare Patient Voice Survey For Osteoporosis Therapies

The B.C. Ministry of Health is conducting a survey of patients, caregivers, and advocacy groups to achieve input regarding osteoporosis therapies in British Columbia and B.C. PharmaCare coverage.

We know that coverage for osteoporosis medications in British Columbia is among the worst in Canada. All treatments for osteoporosis covered by PharmaCare require a “special authority” form to be filled by a physician and the criteria for special authority are very restrictive.

For example, to achieve coverage for certain therapeutic agents, a patient requires a fragility fracture and either an allergy to bisphosphonate or an obstruction to swallowing a pill.

Intolerance, other contraindication to oral bisphosphonate, and even failure on oral bisphosphonate therapy are not included in the criteria for special authority.

  • That means that if you do not tolerate your oral bisphosphonate (alendronate, risedronate weekly pills) you cannot have coverage for an effective treatment.
  • In addition, if your bone density is declining on oral bisphosphonate or you have fractures on oral bisphosphonate, treatment failure is not a reason for a successful special authority application.

The Ministry of Health is soliciting patient input.

Please consider making your voice heard as this may benefit not only your circumstance but that of many other osteoporosis patients in British Columbia.

Patients, caregivers and patient groups can share their experience and opinions with the B.C. Ministry of Health by completing a Your Voice survey.

PharmaCare regularly reviews drugs to decide if they should provide coverage for people enrolled in PharmaCare plans.

PharmaCare considers the drug’s safety, how well it works and how expensive it is, among other factors. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to fill out a survey.

If you are a B.C. resident, you can give input if you:

  • Have the medical condition that the drug would be used for
  • Are an eligible caregiver for someone with that medical condition (a caregiver in another province would have to say yes in order to be able to complete the survey), or;
  • Represent an eligible patient group for B.C. patients with that medical condition
  • This is your chance to improve access to osteoporosis medications in BC

The patient and caregiver survey will only be available on the B.C. government “Your Voice” website from October 20 to November 17, 2021.

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