All PharmaCare Plan Descriptions

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Fair PharmaCare Plan

BC's Fair PharmaCare plan provides B.C. families with coverage for eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies, based on their net income.

All eligible British Columbians are encouraged to register for the plan. Haven't registered yet? Coverage begins immediately if you register by phone or online. There is no charge to register and there are no premiums to pay. For more information, see our Fair PharmaCare section.

To register immediately, visit our Fair PharmaCare online registration page. To register by telephone, contact PharmaCare.

Permanent Residents of Licensed Residential Care Facilities (Plan B)

PharmaCare covers the full cost of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies for permanent residents of licensed residential care facilities in B.C.

Plan B does not apply to people who

  • are staying in extended-care, acute-care, multi-level and assisted-living facilities
  • are short-term patients in a licensed residential care facility (e.g., patients who are in the facility on a respite-care basis to give their caregivers a break)

Short-term residents receive assistance under Fair PharmaCare or Plan C (Recipients of B.C. Income Assistance) depending on the individual’s PharmaCare plan eligibility.

Each residential facility is served by a contracted pharmacy. Every month, PharmaCare pays the contracted pharmacy

  • a fixed fee for providing services to each occupied bed in the facility
  • the full cost of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies

Recipients of B.C. Income Assistance (Plan C)

This plan provides 100% coverage of eligible prescription costs for B.C. residents receiving medical benefits and income assistance through the Ministry of Social Development.

If you would like more information on these benefits, contact your local office of the Ministry of Social Development.

Cystic Fibrosis (Plan D)

Individuals with cystic fibrosis who are registered with a provincial cystic fibrosis clinic receive coverage of digestive enzymes and other products listed in the Cystic Fibrosis Formulary.

Important:  The products listed in the Cystic Fibrosis Formulary are eligible for coverage under Plan D and other Plans only if they are purchased at a pharmacy in the same manner as prescription drugs. This is important because the pharmacy must submit a claim to PharmaCare at the time of purchase.

Plan D patients purchasing digestive enzymes included in the Cystic Fibrosis Formulary receive 100% coverage of the eligible cost. 

Coverage for other products in the formulary is subject to the rules of a patient’s primary plan:  Plan C (Income Assistance), Plan F (At-Home Program) or Fair PharmaCare

For more information on eligibility for Plan D, contact your nearest cystic fibrosis clinic.

For information on products not listed in the Cystic Fibrosis Formulary, contact the PharmaCare Help Desk at Health Insurance BC.

For more information about coverage limits, please see our General PharmaCare Coverage Policies.

Children in the At Home Program (Plan F)

The At Home program of the Ministry of Children and Family Development provides community-based, family-style care for severely handicapped children who would otherwise become reliant on institutional care.

Children receiving full benefits or medical benefits through the program qualify for full coverage of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies.

Contact the Ministry of Children and Family Development for more information.

No-Charge Psychiatric Medication Plan (Plan G)

The No-Charge Psychiatric Medication Plan (Plan G) is available to individuals of any age who are registered with a mental health services centre and who demonstrate clinical and financial need. The plan provides coverage of certain psychiatric medications.

Individual patient eligibility is determined by the patient's physician and the local mental health services centre. Registration is required.

The drugs eligible for coverage under the No-Charge Psychiatric Medication Plan are listed in the Plan G Formulary by both brand and generic name. Drugs in the formulary identified as "Limited Coverage" require prior Special Authority approval from PharmaCare. For these medications, a patient's physician must submit a Special Authority Request to PharmaCare.

For more information on the plan, contact your local mental health service centre, listed in the telephone directory's blue pages under "Health Authorities" or, in Vancouver and Richmond, contact Vancouver Coastal Health. Physicians' offices can download the Application for Psychiatric Medication Coverage (HLTH 3497) (PDF 534K) or request pre-printed copies from the local mental health services centre.

Medication Management Services (Plan M)

Plan M covers individuals for eligible medication management services provided by pharmacies up to certain limits.

Medication management services include

Clinical services

Such as prescription renewal and adaptation. Learn more in Section 8.4 — Clinical Services fees of the PharmaCare Policy Manual.

Medication reviews

Most patients taking 5 or more prescription medications are eligible for medication review services.
These in-person appointments between a patient and their pharmacist can help patients to better manage their prescription and non-prescription medications. The patient and pharmacist review the patient’s current medications and create a medication management plan. Learn more in Section 8.9 — Medication Review Services of the PharmaCare Policy Manual.

BC Palliative Care Drug Plan (Plan P)

The BC Palliative Care Benefits Program supports BC residents of any age who have reached the end stage of a life-threatening disease or illness and who wish to receive palliative care at home.

Under the program, eligible patients receive:

  • coverage of medications used in palliative care through the PharmaCare BC Palliative Care Drug Plan (Plan P) , and
  • medical supplies and equipment through the local health authority.

Benefits under the program continue for as long as the person is diagnosed as requiring palliative care.

The Palliative Care Drug Plan (Plan P) Formulary (PDF  385K ) lists the drugs that PharmaCare covers under this program.

Our BC Palliative Care Benefits Program patient information sheet (PDF 475K) provides further details.

Nicotine replacement therapies under the Smoking Cessation Program (Plan S)

Plan S covers nicotine replacement therapies for individuals eligible under the Smoking Cessation Program.

The Smoking Cessation Program also covers prescription smoking cessation medications according to the rules of your primary PharmaCare plan (that is, Plan B, Plan C, Plan G or Fair PharmaCare).

Antiretroviral medications through the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
(Plan X)

The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS operates from St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. HIV-positive persons living in British Columbia receive their antiretroviral drugs free of charge when enrolled with the centre.

The centre is fully supported by the B.C. Ministry of Health and B.C. PharmaCare funds the eligible drug costs for the centre.

St. Paul's Hospital is a leading institution providing care to more than 65% of the seropositive people in the province.

The centre provides education to health care providers, conducts natural history and observational studies, develops innovative laboratory tests, and carries out clinical trials. Its drug program is at the core of the centre's activities. For more information, visit the Centre for Excellence website.