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BCCOP collaborates with Osteoporosis Canada on Pharmacare Advocacy

People in Canada diagnosed with osteoporosis – a bone disease – who are at high risk for fracture can easily have coverage for their medication/treatments in every province/territory EXCEPT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.

  • In BC, people do not have equitable coverage to osteoporosis medication/treatments.

  • In BC, people diagnosed with osteoporosis must endure painful and debilitating fractures, having their condition worsen BEFORE being prescribed medication/treatments unlike in other parts of Canada.

  • In BC, people who have been assessed at a high risk of fracture do not have any publicly funded options.

  • In BC, a person has to break a bone first in order to get medication coverage. Once the fracture occurs, they go to their provider, who would then send them for X-rays, and fill out a form to apply for coverage. Only then is there coverage available.

Even after meeting the criteria, there is further delay in starting treatment due to the processing of paperwork and unnecessary tests. OTHER PROVINCES in Canada do not have this restriction and the provider can prescribe a fracture prevention therapy to people who are at risk for fracture.

British Columbians who have been assessed at a high risk of fracture do not have any publicly funded options. And those with fractures must meet stricter criteria than other Canadians to receive other treatment options.

These fractures are common and costly:

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) 2019-2020

    • 5,282 hip fractures in BC​

    • 5757 wrist fractures​​

    • 2852 humerus (shoulder) fractures

    • 528 pelvic fractures

    • 1637 vertebral (spine) fractures

    • Total estimated fractures in BC = 14,420

Estimated cost of $480 million to BC – CAN BE AVOIDED
(Osteoporosis Canada Cost Model)
Hopkins RB, Burke N, Von Keyserlingk C, et al. The current economic burden of illness of osteoporosis in Canada. Osteoporos Int. 2016;27(10):3023-3032. doi:10.1007/s00198-016-3631-6

This decision by the government not to have equitable medication coverage and prevent fractures is seriously impacting the health and quality of life of those residing in BC. The implications of this decision are far reaching and extend to private drug coverage where MANY PRIVATE DRUG PLANS IN BC WON’T EVEN COVER THESE MEDICATIONS IF BC PHARMACARE DOESN’T.

WHY are BC patients being left behind?
WHY are BC patients not receiving equitable access to important preventive medications like other Canadians for osteoporosis in order to PREVENT fractures?

A change is needed to fund treatment for those at high risk before they fracture and eliminate the prohibitive criteria for accessing coverage for other osteoporosis treatment options.

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