Reference Drug Program updateS ARE in effect
On June 1, 2016, the Ministry of Health updated PharmaCare’s Reference Drug Program (RDP). The RDP has encouraged cost-effective medication options for common medical conditions since 1995. This is the first major update to the program since its implementation.
The RDP now includes 8 categories of drugs. 3 categories are new, 3 have changed, and 2 remain the same (see diagram):
June 1, 2016 marked a six-month transition period, as the coverage status of 17 drugs will change from full coverage to partial coverage effective December 1, 2016.
To assist patients during the RDP transition period, prescribers and pharmacists can determine:
- if a patient is taking a drug affected by RDP updates,
- whether the patient has already been granted continued full coverage despite RDP updates,
- if not, whether the patient should consider switching drugs to retain eligibility for full coverage, and
- if the patient chooses to switch, prescribing an appropriate substitute drug or adapting the prescription.
For more information, visit the Ministry of Health’s website: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/pharmacare/prescribers/reference-drug-program#Transition
In April 2016, the Board approved an amendment to the Professional Practice Policy 58 - Protocol for Medication Management – Adapting a Prescription (PPP-58) Guide to reflect the changes to the RDP.