Lucentis Funding in Newfoundland and Labrador

Lucentis has been approved for treating macular degeneration in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  In their latest budget the Newfoundland and Labrador Government announced $2.8 million to help patients who suffer from the wet form of macular degeneration.  In doing so, it joins the ranks of Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan as the only provinces across Canada to provide coverage for the drug Lucentis, the leading drug being used to treat this eye disease.

With approximately 20,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador suffering from Macular Degeneration, this announcement is major news.  With only 10 percent of the diagnosed cases of macular degeneration being the wet type of the eye disease, this means that approximately 2,000 people can benefit from this funding announcement.

Lucentis being covered for treating macular degeneration in Newfoundland and Labrador is a major announcement.  The CBC has a podcast on Macular Degeneration where it talks to the CNIB in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Normally, patients would require between 3 and 15 injections of Lucentis.  What is not clear about the program announced by the Newfoundland and Labrador Government is how many treatments patients will qualify for.  What is clear is that the availability of Lucentis now means that seniors and the aging no longer have to worry about financing their treatments for wet macular degeneration.

Treatments of Lucentis are anticipated to cost approximately $2,000 per dosage and looking at the math, there is a potential to quickly consume the $2.8 million in funding announced.  However, being only the fourth province to step up to the plate and cover this drug is a major step.  It now means that those who need Lucentis to save their vision no longer have to worry about mortgaging their homes tao pay for treatments.

Comments

  1. Anyone know which doctors are already using Lucentis in NL? Also, is the cheaper alternative Avistan being used off label in NL?

    • The NL Government has yet to release the criteria for their Lucentis coverage. I would suspect it will be available through regular channels … any retinal surgeon or ohthalmologist will be able to use it.

      Avastin is being used off-label. It is available through the Bense Eye Clinic in St. John’s at $500 per injection. For details visit http://www.bense.ca

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