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Drug Benefits and Financial Support FAQs

Q:  How can I determine whether a drug is funded by BC Cancer? 

Please refer to the following topics on the Drug Funding page:

  • BC Cancer funding
  • Other sources of drug funding
  • Out-of-province

Q: What programs are available to provide financial aid to cancer patients for other expenses that are not medication related?

The Financial Assistance section of the BC Cancer website contains information on obtaining financial assistance for cancer patients for the following topics:

  • medical costs/equipment 
  • income loss 
  • childcare expenses 
  • financial
Reviewed November 9, 2017

Q: Filgrastim (GCSF) is not on the Benefit Drug List. Is it covered by BC Cancer?

Filgrastim is not on the BC Cancer benefit list because it is not used for the active treatment of cancer. It is used to decrease the duration of neutropenia associated with cancer chemotherapy. However, for inpatients at BC hospitals only, BC Cancer does cover the drug cost of filgrastim for approved indications as outlined below. Outpatient coverage is through the BC PharmaCare Special Authority Program.

For Inpatients:

  • BC Cancer aligns coverage for filgrastim with the BC PharmaCare Special Authority Program.
  • Effective January 31, 2017, PharmaCare covers GRASTOFILTM, a biosimilar formulation to NEUPOGENTM
  • Filgrastim is a Limited Coverage Drug through the BC PharmaCare Special Authority Program and the indications for coverage are outlined on the Filgrastim (GRASTOFILTM type) Special Authority Request Form. 
  • If  the drug is being used for one of the eligible indications, the filgrastim (GRASTOFILTM) may be dispensed and the cost billed via OSCAR to BC Cancer. The indication for filgrastim is filled in at the time of OSCAR billing. 
  • For indications not listed, the filgrastim may be dispensed at the discretion of the hospital, but the cost will not be reimbursed by BC Cancer.

For Outpatients:

  • Outpatients are responsible for the cost of the drug as outlined below.
  • The completed Filgrastim (GRASTOFILTM type) Special Authority Request Form must be faxed to BC PharmaCare. The BC Cancer Filgrastim (GCSF) Usage Form is no longer in effect.
  • The patient may fill the prescription at a community pharmacy. If the drug is being used for an eligible indication, the cost of the drug will count towards the patient's annual BC PharmaCare deductible.
  • Patients should also be directed to check for third party coverage. The Patient and Family Counselling department at BC Cancer centres may be contacted to advise in this process. 
  • Patients who need assistance in paying for the drug may contact Apobiologix’s ANSWERSTM Program that may be able to provide assistance depending on the patient’s financial status. Anyone may contact the program on behalf of the patient. It is important that this program is contacted before a prescription is filled. It does not provide retroactive reimbursement. See Patient Assistance Programs [Systemic Therapy - Reimbursement and Forms] for further information. 

Reviewed February 8, 2017

‎This question has been retired. BC Cancer does not fund supportive medications such as LMWHs for venous thromboembolism for out-patients. For funding information, please refer to Limited Coverage Drugs - Dalteparin or Tinzaparin on the BC PharmaCare website. Indications for coverage are outlined on the Venous Thromboembolism in Cancer Patients Special Authority Request Form.

Revised February 22, 2017

SOURCE: Drug Benefits and Financial Support FAQs ( )
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