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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


Our Voices Blog

Breast Cancer Treatments in Canada: Accessing Treatment and Funding for Treatments

Being diagnosed with breast cancer comes with many challenges and complications, accessing breast cancer drugs and funding for breast cancer drugs shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, breast cancer patients across Canada do not always have access to the same breast cancer drugs. In the case where the same treatment is available in different provinces and territories, the funding for these drugs may not be the same across provinces and territories.

Fortunately, there are programs and resources that can allow more patients to have access to the treatments that they require. There are also programs and resources outside of private and public insurance that can provide funding access to these drugs. Being aware that patients might not always know of these resources, CBCN has put together a short list of just some of the avenues that patients can use to access breast cancer treatment and the funding for these breast cancer treatments.

MedSearch is CBCN’s breast cancer drug navigation tool provides general information about the various treatments for breast cancer. It was designed to help patients and caregivers find information about what breast cancer drugs are publicly funded across Canada, their status within the drug approval process. It also directs patients to information about additional funding sources for drugs that aren’t currently listed on public formularies.

Financial Navigator
FinancialNavigator is CBCN’s navigation tool that can help you find sources of financial assistance to offset the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis. The database consists of financial support programs at the national, provincial, and local level. Using the search filter, programs under the drug coverage category lists programs and supports specifically for accessing breast cancer drugs.

Manufacturer’s Patient Support Program
Pharmaceutical manufacturers sometimes provide funding assistance to patients on specific drugs through patient support programs (PSPs). Manufacturer PSPs may provide patients access to a specific drug for free until the treatment is publicly or privately covered. In other cases, manufacturer PSPs may cover extra medical costs, such as insurance copayments. In addition to this, they may help patients with private IV drug infusions, deliver treatment to a patients house, or assist with other services such as drug adherence reminders.

Drug Access Navigators
Drug Access Navigators (DANs) are healthcare professionals mostly found in cancer clinics. They assist patients with access to drugs and treatments as well as funding opportunities to access these treatments. DANs help patients complete application forms for public and private insurance, enroll in compassionate access programs, and file appeals when appropriate.

Find more information on DANs across Canada:
Alberta Health Services – Cancer Care Drug Coverage
Oncology Drug Access Navigators of Ontario (ODANO)
Atlantic Canada Oncology Drug Access Navigators Association (ACODANA)

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