MONTREAL, Feb. 1, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Less than two weeks after Québec
patients were provided access to the innoviCares program, over 5,000
patients have already registered, but some are disappointed that they
cannot use their card to receive their prescribed brand name
medications. By covering the difference in cost between brand name
medication and generic alternatives, this program ensures the
continuity of care for patients who have been prescribed a brand name
"The pace of registration for innoviCares shows the demand from
Quebecers for more patient choice, but we have seen some confusion and
misunderstanding in recent media coverage on the innoviCares program,
resulting in frustration for patients, pharmacists, and physicians,"
said Steve Nicolle, CEO of STI Technologies Limited, solution provider
for the Canadian healthcare market and creator of the innoviCares
program. While the RAMQ does not have a problem with the program, the
Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec has been asked for its advice by
Québec's Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Réjean Hébert.
"To clarify, the innoviCares card provides patients the choice of
receiving brand or generic medication at their pharmacy; it does not
impact what their physician prescribes. Insurance coverage varies on an
individual plan basis, with the recent changes regarding the 15 year
rule, many patients on both private plans and the public plan are
already benefitting from the innoviCares card", says Mr. Nicolle.
"Additionally, the innoviCares program protects the privacy of all
patient information and personal information is not shared with any
participating pharmaceutical companies. We are fully confident the
innoviCares program is compliant with all legal and ethical guidelines.
Given the importance of this social issue, we are awaiting on the Ordre
des pharmaciens du Québec to give its advice to pharmacists on the
matter. In the meantime, with the interest of Québec patients in mind,
we encourage pharmacists to allow patients to make the choice to use
the innoviCares card and receive the respective benefits."
Patients and healthcare professionals can call 1-888-806-6394, if they
have any questions on innoviCares.
About the innoviCares patient benefit program
The recent changes in Québec provincial legislation, the elimination of
the 15 years rule, came into effect on Monday, January 14, 2013.
Therefore, the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) will no longer fully reimburse about 60 brand drugs that were, up
until now, protected by this rule. The RAMQ will thus only reimburse
the lowest priced medication, historically meaning the generic
It is here where the innoviCares program provides benefits and addresses
the patients' interests and their medication therapy needs. It
provides Quebec patients, whether they are insured through public or private drug plans, with a new option, to continue on the brand medication they have been
prescribed by their physician.
STI cards, such as the innoviCares card, are used by millions of people
across Canada and accepted in thousands of pharmacies every day,
including in Québec. Quebecers can now obtain, at no cost to them, a
patient benefit card on the innovicares.ca website. The innoviCares card is designed to cover the difference in
ingredient cost between the brand drug and the generic alternative. The
patient simply presents his or her innoviCares card along with their
prescription each time they visit their pharmacy to have their
About STI Technologies Limited
STI Technologies Limited is one of the largest transactional marketing
companies in Canada and a supplier of innovative solutions for the
country's healthcare market. Active in Québec for the past 10 years,
this private company revolutionized the way pharmaceutical companies
manage sample distribution by involving pharmacies in the process. More
specifically, STI developed a card that bridges the four distinct
worlds of the pharma, physicians, patients and pharmacy, and offers
choice and affordable access to medications.
SOURCE: STI Technologies Limited
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