BC’s PharmaCare helps residents of British Columbia with the cost of eligible prescription drugs and certain medical supplies. It provides access to drug therapy through several drug plans.
Although BC has a couple of PharmaCare plans that residents may qualify for—for example, Plan C for those receiving income assistance—most BC residents are covered under Fair PharmaCare. Coverage under this plan is based on your family’s net income. It is available to single people or to families. Register for Fair PharmaCare online. You only need to register once. Your coverage is updated on January 1 of every year based on your current income information.
Limited Coverage Drugs
Unfortunately, BC PharmaCare doesn’t currently cover hepatitis C treatment for everyone with the virus. Instead treatment is available as limited coverage and non-reference drugs requiring special authority approval. Limited coverage drugs are treatments that are generally not considered to be first line therapies or they are treatments with certain conditions attached to them, such as a liver fibrosis stage F2 or greater.
Special Authority Access
To get coverage for limited coverage drugs a patient asks their hepatitis C specialist, a healthcare provider experienced with treating hep C, to submit a request for coverage on their behalf. This request is then reviewed by a BC PharmaCare committee and, if approved, the medical specialist can then write a prescription for the drug/s.
Please talk to your healthcare provider for more information or to start the treatment process.
BC PharmaCare Covered Hep C Treatments
|Targeted Genotypes||Additional Notes||PharmaCare Covered Treatment Options*||Possible Lengths of Treatment|
|1 – 6||Epclusa (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir)||12 weeks|
|1||All of these treatments are for those who have OR haven’t already tried treatment. Harvoni is the preferable treatment.||Galexos (simeprevir) taken in combination with pegylated interferon with ribavirin (PR)||24 – 48 weeks|
|Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) taken in combination with pegylated interferon with ribavirin (PR)||12 weeks|
|Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir)||8 – 24 weeks|
|1, 4||Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir)||12 – 16 weeks|
|1||Sunvepra (asunaprevir)||24 weeks|
|3||Works against hep C in combination with other DAAs.||Daklinza (daclatasvir)||12 weeks|
|2, 3||These treatments are for those who haven’t tried treatment (treatment-naive) AND who don’t have medical reasons against taking interferon.||Pegylated interferon with ribavirin (PR)||14 or 24 weeks according to genotype|
|2, 3||These treatments are for those who are treatment-naive with medical reason against interferon OR are PR treatment- experienced||Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) in combination with ribavirin (Ibavyr)||12 weeks for genotype 2|
|24 weeks for genotype 3|
|2 – 6||Pegylated interferon with ribavirin||14 or 24 weeks|
|*Please see Comparing Hep C Treatments or the individual treatment pages for more information about the treatments and how one may be eligible for BC PharmaCare treatment coverage.
Hep C Treatments Not PharmaCare Covered
If you have private health insurance, consult with a representative from the company to find out specific coverage details for hep C treatments. Many insurance companies follow the provincial PharmaCare coverage guidelines and only cover treatments that are PharmaCare approved, but check individual policies for details, as others cover all of the treatments approved for use in Canada.
Our Financial Support page includes information about financial support for those interested in DAA treatments that aren’t covered by PharmaCare. The page lists all of the Canadian financial assistance programs.
Information about Individual Treatments and Coverage
Information about treatments and coverage details can be found following the treatment links within the above table or at Comparing Hep C Treatments.