We’re very pleased to share news that the Provincial Government has announced that they are expanding the Provincial Smoking Cessation Program for Individuals with Low Income. Since October 2014 this program has assisted individuals with low income to access quit smoking medications (Champix and Zyban) by covering a portion of the cost of these treatments for individuals who are eligible under the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP) Access, Foundation and 65 Plus Plans.

Effective January 15, 2018, the program will expand to include coverage of the Habitrol Patch, a nicotine replacement therapy. This product was originally provided under special authorization only.

Here is some of the key information about the Program:

What is covered each year?

Individuals can receive up to 12 weeks (84 days in a row) of one treatment (the Patch, Champix or Zyban) within a 365 day period (with a co-pay arrangement).

How can individuals obtain the products?

An individual will need to visit their physician, nurse practitioner or pharmacist to discuss whether these products are right for them. If so, the health professional will write a prescription. When filling the prescription at the pharmacy, individuals must present their NLPDP card to indicate their eligibility for coverage under the program.

How much do individuals pay?

Individuals pay a small amount each time they get their prescription filled, up to a maximum of $75.00 per year.

Champix: Dispensed once a month, for 3 months: 4-week Starter Pack: Patient pays $15 at pharmacy; 4-week Continuation Pack (up to 2): Patient pays $30 at pharmacy for each pack.

Zyban: Dispensed once a month, for 3 months: 1st Dispense: Patient pays $15 at pharmacy; 2nd and 3rd dispense: Patient pays $30 at pharmacy for each dispense.

Habitrol patches: Dispensed every 14 days for 3 months: Each 2-week dispense (up to 6): Patient pays $12.50 at pharmacy for each dispense.

For information on eligibility, individuals may contact the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program by calling 1-888-859-3535

Link to the NL Smokers’ Helpline: The Helpline continues to be a point of contact for information about the program. This also provides a great opportunity to link individuals with the Helpline services to help them quit.

Program evaluation: The program evaluation for the first two years shows that the program has encouraged people to attempt to quit smoking and to be successful. Evaluation highlights: 25.7% reporting that they were smoke-free at follow-up. Of these, 23.3% had been smoke-free for 30 days or longer. Most program participants who reported they were still smoking had taken some action towards quitting: 64% had reduced the amount they smoked, 69% made at least one quit attempt lasting 7 days or longer, 54% had made a quit attempt lasting 30 days or longer.

For more information about the Provincial Government Dept. of Children, Seniors and Social Development tobacco control programs:
http://www.cssd.gov.nl.ca/healthyliving/tobaccocontrol.html .

Helpful Hand-out:
General Information on the Program