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Posts Tagged "expands"

5Sep

B.C. government expands biosimilar drug program to Crohn’s, colitis patients

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https://vancouversun.com/


B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix in a file photo.


Francis Georgian / PNG

The British Columbia government says it’s expanding its substitute drug program to include 1,700 patients with diseases such as Crohn’s and colitis.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says biosimilars, which are cheaper alternatives to name-brand drugs, have worked well in other countries and the province will be saving about $96.6 million to be put back into health care over three years.

Biosimilars are highly similar versions of bioengineered drugs known as biologics, and there are 17 such products approved for sale in Canada.

Bioengineered medicine is the single biggest expense for public drug plans; in 2018, B.C. spent $125 million to treat chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

In January, the province made a three-year, $105-million investment to help low-income British Columbians get access to the drugs.

The initial program announced in May saw over 20,000 British Columbians move their prescription from the biologic to biosimilar drugs.

16Apr

B.C. expands mental-health injury access to nurses, 911 operators and aides

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There are hundreds of nursing vacancies posted on the HealthMatch B.C. website, but not even the union knows how many more jobs need to be filled.


BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: Nurses in the accident and emergency dept of Selly Oak Hospital work during a busy shift on March 16, 2010 in Birmingham, England. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, industry, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 96847009,535205291


Christopher Furlong / Getty Images files

VICTORIA — Emergency dispatchers, nurses and care aides in B.C. will soon have easier access to workers’ compensation for mental-health disorders associated to their work.

Labour Minister Harry Bains says the regulatory changes are about fairness and support for workers who experience mental harm because of their jobs.

Bains says people in certain professions are more likely to encounter trauma on the job that can lead to mental illness.

The government changed the Workers’ Compensation Act last year to add a list of mental-health disorders associated with jobs like police and firefighters, and now Bains says they’re expanding that to the other occupations.

B.C Nurses’ Union president Christine Sorensen says 2016 WorkSafeBC statistics show nurses accounted for 12 per cent of claims because of mental disorders and the changes will provide resources and support for nurses who are suffering from mental injury.

Oliver Gruter-Andrew, the CEO of the 911 call centre E-Comm, says the change is good news because people experience a high level of emotional stress as they work to save lives.


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17Jan

BC project that kept more drug-addicted patients in treatment expands

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A man injects himself at a bus shelter in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Monday, Dec.19, 2016.


Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS

An 18-month pilot project is being expanded across British Columbia after more than double the number of drug-addicted people stayed in treatment to stop them from fatally overdosing.

The initiative, led by the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Vancouver Coastal Health, uses the same strategy that helped drive down the province’s HIV and AIDS rates.

Dr. Rolando Barrios, the centre’s senior medical director, says it involves tracking patients who don’t show up for appointments and uses a team of doctors, nurses and social workers to follow them through treatment to help with their needs such as housing and employment.

The pilot at 17 clinics in Vancouver involved 1,100 patients and showed seven out of 10 of them stayed in treatment after three months, up from three people, as part of a program that prescribes substitute opioids to curb drug cravings and ward off withdrawal symptoms.

Barrios says retaining people who are addicted to opioids like heroin and fentanyl in treatment is the biggest hurdle in the overdose crisis that has claimed thousands of lives.

He says the expansion of the pilot involves simple steps such as reminding patients when their medication is about to expire and having pharmacies connect with health-care teams when people don’t pick up their medications.


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