There are times when every coverage option has been exhausted and there remains leftover costs on your cancer drug(s) that you cannot afford. This does not happen often, but when it does, an oncology drug access navigator may turn to the following resources:

Charitable Funds

Many local communities raise funds to help cancer patients with the costs of treatment; some of these funds (not all) provide help with the cost of drugs; most need assurances that all other forms of assistance have been exhausted; most provide limited assistance and one-time only

Provincial or Hospital “Top up” Funding

Nova Scotia residents have the option of applying for the Take Home Cancer Drug Fund for help with leftover cancer drug costs. This fund was established to help reduce the out of pocket cost burden for cancer patients on take home treatment drugs. To qualify for this fund, you must have:

  • a valid NS Health Card number
  • been prescribed a take-at-home cancer treatment drug that is listed on the NS Pharmacare Formulary
  • exhausted all options for coverage on your private drug plan (if you have one)
  • registered with a Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare
  • exhausted all forms of financial assistance through Patient Support Programs
  • leftover costs that are higher than 4% of your total annual family income as indicated on Line 236 of your most recent Notice of Assessment

Your oncology drug access navigator in Nova Scotia can answer your questions about your eligibility for this fund and can help you with the application if it is appropriate for your situation.

Newfoundland and Labrador residents may receive additional help from the provincial cancer care program for specific take at home cancer treatments after other options have been exhausted. The use of this funding is overseen and approved by this program when appropriate. Contact your oncology drug access navigator for more details.

Brand Assistance Cards

If your leftover costs are a result of a cost difference between the generic version of the drug (which is what your drug plan is willing to pay for) and the brand version of the drug (which is the prescriber’s preference), your oncology drug access navigator may be able to provide you with a brand assistance card. This is a direct pay card provided by the manufacturer of the brand version of the drug. It covers the difference in cost between the generic and brand price. Please note that not all pharmaceutical companies have brand assistance card programs.