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Manitoba Adds Medications for Cystic Fibrosis, HIV Prevention to Drug Program

October 22, 2021 3:00 PM | News

Medicine - Pills

WINNIPEG — Manitoba has added new drugs to the provincial formulary for cystic fibrosis (CF) and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

Premier Kelvin Goertzen and Health and Seniors Care Minister Audrey Gordon made the announcement on Friday.

“Trikafta helps people better manage their illness and PrEP is an anti-retroviral drug that is very effective when taken before exposure to dramatically reduce the risk of HIV infections,” said Gordon.

“This addition to the formulary will ensure patients can access both Trikafta and HIV PrEP drugs if they meet provincial eligibility criteria and are eligible for pharmacare or receive health coverage from Employment and Income Assistance (EIA).”

PrEP is taken daily to prevent HIV from spreading in a person’s body and reduces the risk of getting the virus.

“Manitoba has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in Canada and our epidemiology shows clearly that those communities most at risk are also the least likely to be able to afford the cost of PrEP,” said Michael Payne, executive director, Nine Circles Community Health Centre.

“The cost of treating one person living with HIV is far greater than the cost of HIV prevention with PrEP. The inclusion of PrEP in the formulary is a game-changer and will no doubt improve opportunities for HIV prevention.”

The medications will be available for coverage through the Manitoba Pharmacare Program, which is based on both the total family income and the amount paid for eligible prescription drugs.