Posted on 06/07/2016, 1:10 pm, by mySteinbach

Budget 2016 includes an additional $4 million in funding to support the provision of cancer drugs for patients across the province. This announcement was made by Premier Brian Pallister.

“The national work to ensure affordability is significant because there are many new drugs being developed and it is anticipated that cancer drug costs will continue to rise,” said Pallister. “We are committed to working with other stakeholders to look at ways to strengthen our system and improve the affordability, accessibility, appropriate prescribing and use of prescription drugs, both across the country and here at home.”

The Provincial Oncology Drug Program includes funding for all intravenous drugs provided for cancer patients provincewide.

“Cancer is the leading cause of death in Manitoba. However, thanks to research, innovative treatments and new drugs, the cure rate for cancer is steadily improving,” said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba. “We are very lucky that Manitobans with cancer are able to receive the intravenous drugs they need, whether at CancerCare, at regional cancer hubs or in their own home, at no cost to them.”

CancerCare Manitoba administers the Provincial Oncology Drug Program, purchasing the drugs centrally and undertaking comprehensive reviews of new drugs or medications to determine if they will be introduced for use in Manitoba.

The additional funding will bring the budgeted amount for providing intravenous cancer drugs to approximately $50 million annually, the premier said, adding that Manitoba’s Home Cancer Drug Program provides cost-free access to approved oral cancer medications and cancer support drugs including anti-nausea medications that counter side-effects of chemotherapy.

The premier also said Manitoba is working with other provinces and territories to look at ways to ensure the long-term affordability of cancer drugs.

“Every year, cancer steals mothers from their children, husbands from their wives and friends from each other,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen. “By continuing to increase our investments in cancer drugs, we help fight this terrible disease and support health-care providers working to keep our loved ones with us longer.”

For more information on cancer drug coverage, visit