Lucentis Treatment – Ontario, Canada

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.


  1. Why is the Lucentis drug coverage only for those 65 years and older. There are some with macular degeneration that have not reached this age. (This can happen to those 50 and up.) What are they supposed to do?

    • It is available to anyone diagnosed with it if they receive trillium drug benefit or Ontario works. Also for the record it is not only those 50 and up that are affected. I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration at 34.

  2. I’m 62 retired and recently diagnosed with wet >. I’m not sure of treatment cost but we have no health insurance ,pension or significant funds . We don’t know what to do .

  3. I am 83 and was diagnosed with AMD in January 2012 and was successfully treated with Lucentis after 3 injections. My doctor recommended I continue the treatment in order to maintain my vision. Because Ohip would not continue paying for Lucentis he recommended Avastin as a more affordable drug. After 18 months on Avastin my eye is stable and I am now having treatment every 8 weeks.

    Fortunately I can afford the cost, but many cannot. When will Ohip accept that Avastin is a more affordable alternative and make it available to all seniors?

    • I am 39 and receive Avastin in the UK. Has helped stablize my right eye and at a fraction of the cost of Lucentis! Currently applying for Permenent Residency to Canada and will try and get private healthcare to continue Avastin treatment if successful.

  4. On Avastin 5 yrs L eye (WMD) no further bleeds.
    Plus Avastin R eye 2yrs some moisture controlled every 2 mo
    3 yrs ago had cataract L eye – successful.
    Lucentis paid by Alberta health care but my Avastin is only(&75)
    My specialist here in Calgary said I qualified for Lucentis but gave me
    option remaining on Avastin because it works for me!
    Hope all works for you. I see Dr Savage – Calgary

  5. I am 35 and was diagnosed with Wet AMD. Need Lucentis bot Ontario Health Care and OHIP will not cover me because I am under age. You would think they would try to help a younger person, but I was declined!! This is something I cannot afford for 1700 a month!

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