Media Advisory: CADTH Response to BC's Coverage of Insulin Glargine



    OTTAWA, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Agency for Drugs and
Technologies in Health (CADTH) notes the announcement last week that the
British Columbia government will provide Special Authority coverage of insulin
glargine clearly demonstrates that its Common Drug Review (CDR) program is
working for Canadians.

    Background

    The CDR conducts objective, rigorous reviews of the clinical and cost
effectiveness of drugs and provides formulary listings to Canada's publicly
funded drug plans (except Quebec). The participating drug plans make
benefit-listing and coverage decisions, based on the CDR recommendations, and
jurisdictional factors, such as plan mandates, priorities, and resources.

    Insulin glargine (Lantus) decision

    BC government officials said their decision to list insulin glargine was
based on therapeutics, as reviewed by CDR; and pricing, for which there is a
partnership agreement with some pricing concessions between BC and the
manufacturer.
    The BC decision is in-line with the CDR recommendation, which indicates
that while the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee (CEDAC) acknowledged
that there is evidence that insulin glargine may be superior to NPH insulin in
the reduction of nocturnal hypoglycemic episodes, it did not feel that this
justified the three-fold difference in cost compared to NPH insulin and that a
reduction in the price of insulin glargine was required to justify
reimbursement.
    The BC Special Authority process will cover: "patients...currently taking
insulin NPH and/or pre-mix insulin daily at optimal dosing and (1) have
experienced unexplained nocturnal hypoglycemia at least once a month despite
optimal management or (2) have documented severe or continuing systemic or
local allergic reaction to existing insulin".




For further information:

For further information: Sandy Fox, Senior Communications Officer,
Common Drug Review, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
(CADTH), (613) 226-2553, sandyf@cadth.ca; www.cadth.ca


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