Drug Review

PharmaCare only considers drugs for coverage if manufacturers apply to have their drugs covered by PharmaCare. This happens after the drug has been approved by Health Canada and the Common Drug Review.

Every submitted drug is reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council (DBC), an independent advisory body. The DBC has 12 members: nine professionals with expertise in medicine, ethics, pharmacoeconomics and health economics; and three members from the public. Learn about current DBC members.

The DBC makes an evidence-based recommendation on whether PharmaCare should include the drug in its formulary.

PharmaCare then considers

  • the DBC recommendation;
  • current PharmaCare policy and coverage for the same type of drug; and
  • if coverage for the drug can be accommodated under the current PharmaCare budget.

Coverage decisions include the type of coverage and the PharmaCare plans under which a drug will be covered. A drug may be a full benefit, partial benefit, or limited coverage (a benefit only if a patient meets criteria).

For more details, see Drug Review Process in B.C. – Overview (PDF)

For the results of PharmaCare drug coverage decisions, use the Drug Review Results search.

PharmaCare also publishes Drug Decision Summaries and Evidence Reports for drugs it has considered covering.

Schematic illustrating drug review steps explained in the page content.

Public Input

PharmaCare is committed to understanding British Columbians’ perspectives on drug decisions that affect them. Your Voice invites patients, caregivers and patient groups to take part in B.C.’s drug review process.