Alberta government to cover cost of pre-filled drug syringes for palliative care patients

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Albertans in palliative care at home or in hospices will no longer have to pay the cost of putting injectable drugs into pre-filled syringes as of June 1.

The government’s palliative coverage program, which already covers some prescription drugs, diabetic supplies, and ambulance services, is being expanded to include the cost of syringes for injectable drugs and the cost of the pharmacy for refilling. syringes, the government said Thursday.

“Albertans in palliative care often face severe, relentless pain and other symptoms during their illness,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a statement.

“Eliminating the cost of pre-filling syringes with medication is an important way to support these Albertans during this difficult time.”

Before the change, patients or their caregivers had to fill their own syringes or pay a pharmacy to do it for them, Alberta Health spokesperson Karin Campbell said in an email. The cost of the drugs themselves was and continues to be covered by the program.

The change is expected to cost the government approximately $ 400,000 per year.

According to the ministry, in 2019-2020, 5,200 Albertans received additional health benefits under the palliative coverage program and nearly 2,000 of them used injectable drugs for pain management.

On average, a patient receiving palliative care may need 10 to 12 syringes of pain medication each day, according to the government.

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