Lucentis treatments are available for people with wet macular degeneration in Ontario, Canada. Effective March 25, 2008 the Ontario Government announced that it would provide funding for Lucentis under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program. This announcment means that patients with wet macular degeneration now have access to the drug treatment Lucentis as a general benefit and that ey care specialists in Ontario are free to prescribe this drug to Ontario citizens.
In listing Lucentis as part of the ODB formulary, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term care is establishing Ontario as one of the few provincial governments covering the drug for macular degeneration. However, the ODB has established limits and criteria to aid eye care professionals to use in determining whether or not the Lucentis treatment for patients suffering from the eye disease wet macular degeneration.
Those people diagnosed with the eye disease who are residents of Ontario and have a valid Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP) are eligible for Lucentis coverage under the ODB program. The criteria for determining coverage include the following criteria:
- people 65 years of age and older
- residents of long-term care facilities
- residents of Homes for Special Care
- people receiving professional services under the Home Care program; and
- Trillium Drug Program recipients
Additionally, residents of Ontario receiving social assistance (Ontario works or Ontario Disability Support Program Assistance) is eligible for ODB coverage for the drug Lucentis. More detailed information regarding Ontario’s coverage of Lucentis for wet macular degeneration can be found on the Ontario Health Ministry Website or on the CNIB website. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Ontario’s move to provide coverage for Lucentis for wet macular degeneration has been applauded by eye care organizations throughout the province. It is also hoped that other provincial governments across Canada will follow suit, especially since this drug was recommended by the Common Drug Review Committee.
Those seniors and elderly who qualify for coverage will no longer have to worry about losing their site to the eye disease macular degeneration and will no longer have to be concerned with having to seek alternate treatments for their eye care.