Outpatient Oral Anticancer Agents in Manitoba

Most Manitobans who receive treatment for cancer do so with intravenous therapy at Cancer Care Manitoba. However, in recent years, the use of oral anticancer agents has increased. Traditionally, prescriptions for these medications are filled at community pharmacies through the usual system of prescription drug coverage, including a deductible for eligible Pharmacare prescriptions. In 2012, the Home Cancer Drug (HCD) Program was launched. This is a program for Manitobans diagnosed with cancer that allows access to eligible outpatient oral cancer and specific supportive care drugs at no cost to the patient (with no deductible). This research project sought to determine usage of oral medications in Manitoba, changes in patterns of use and prescription filling over time, and the impact of the HCD program on prescription filling patterns. Using prescription drug data for outpatients we examined prescription utilization trends, costs associated with such therapies and patterns of health services use.

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