BC residents are sometimes referred out‐of‐province for cancer treatment due to geographic or personal reasons. This may present some financial challenges regarding medication coverage for patients. The following considerations may help reduce financial strain incurred by cancer patients who are being treated outside B.C.:
- All BC residents for whom cancer drug reimbursement is required MUST be registered with BC Cancer, even if referred for out‐of‐province treatment. Clinicians may call 1‐800‐663‐3333 ext. 674610 to obtain a drug registration form.
- BC Cancer funded cancer regimens being delivered out‐of‐province are eligible for reimbursement. All BC Cancer funded cancer regimens can be found on the Benefit Drug List [Reimbursement & Forms].
- If treatment delivered outside BC is not provided according to a BC Cancer funded cancer regimen, it must receive Compassionate Access Program (CAP) approval PRIOR to the start of treatment. Please contact the CAP office via email email@example.com or phone 1‐800‐663‐3333 ext. 672676 for assistance.
Provided that BC Cancer patient registration and funding
criteria are met, parenteral chemotherapy is funded
through inter‐provincial reciprocity agreements.
BC resident patients do not usually need to self‐pay and
seek reimbursement from BC Cancer for parenteral chemotherapy drugs delivered outside of BC.
Depending on the province/territory providing treatment,
patients may be asked to self‐pay for oral chemotherapy and other take‐home cancer medications, and to seek
reimbursement from BC Cancer.
Providing that BC Cancer patient registration and funding criteria are met, BC Cancer will reimburse up to the equivalent drug cost at BC Cancer.
Reimbursement generally takes up to 6‐8 weeks, but
delays may occur.
In some cases, patients may have unrecoverable expenses due to drug price differences between BC Cancer & other provinces/territories.
Supportive care medications are not funded by BC Cancer.
Patients should consult with BC PharmaCare and/or their own extended health insurance providers to determine if
supportive care medications purchased outside BC will be covered.
For patients registered with the BC Financial Support Drug Program (FSDP), FSDP does not provide financial coverage for supportive care medications purchased outside BC.
This information will apply to all patients who are actively enrolled in a Canadian Provincial / Territories medical plan, other than British Columbia, and who attend BC Cancer for systemic therapy care or treatment.
All patients seen at BC Cancer get assigned a BC Cancer ID number as part of the registration process only.
Cancer drug costs associated with treatment in an inpatient setting will be charged to the patient’s home province by the treating hospital, at the rate approved by the Interprovincial Health Insurance Agreement Coordinating Committee.
a) Intravenous Drugs covered by patient’s home province/territory
The rate approved by the Interprovincial Health Insurance
Agreement Coordinating Committee will be charged to the patient’s home province/territory.
b) Intravenous Drugs not covered by the patient’s home province/territory
The patient will be responsible for the costs of those drugs.
c) Oral, hormonal or injectable (“take home”) cancer drugs
The costs of take-home drugs are not covered by BC. Out-of-province patients may take prescriptions for these drugs to be filled at a retail pharmacy of their choice. The cost of these drugs will be the responsibility of the patient if they are not covered by the patient’s extended health plan, the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program (NIHB), or the province/territory they are from.
For Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Yukon, (not including NIHB clients), a reciprocal billing agreement is in place such that the respective agencies may bill each other for take-home drugs on the respective Benefit Drug List dispensed for the appropriate indications.
For the most up-to-date cancer drug coverage information, please contact your provincial cancer agency.