Palliative Care Drug Access Program

The Palliative Care Drug Access Program respects the dignity of people in the final stages of life by supporting their decision to choose where they would prefer to spend their final days.

This program is designed for people at the end stages of their illness, when the focus of care is on comfort. By covering the cost of eligible drugs for use in the home or in another residence, a major financial burden is removed for the patient and their family.

What does the program cover?

The Palliative Care Drug Access Program provides deductible-free coverage through Manitoba Health. Once the application has been processed by Manitoba Health, the costs of all eligible drugs prescribed by a physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP) will be covered. When filling their prescriptions at the pharmacy of their choice, individuals enrolled in the program will no longer be charged for their prescribed eligible medication.

Who is eligible?

The program is open to residents of Manitoba, with a current Manitoba Health registration number. The patient and their physician or NP must agree on palliative care, dealing with an advanced phase of a terminal illness.

Enrolment in the program

When a physician or NP makes a palliative diagnosis, an application form must be completed and signed by both the patient (and guardian) and a physician or NP. The completed application form is sent from the physician or NP to the palliative care coordinator in the local regional health authority. If the patient is eligible for coverage, the form will be forwarded to Manitoba Health for registration.

Application forms are available to physicians and NPs through the palliative care coordinator at the regional health authority.

The patient or guardian will receive notification regarding acceptance into the program from their physician or NP, or palliative care coordinator. 

Obtaining prescriptions

Patients accepted into the program will be registered with the Palliative Care Drug Access Program and can obtain their eligible prescription drugs at no charge at the pharmacy of their choice.

How long will coverage continue?

Coverage will continue as long as the patient remains registered with the Palliative Care Drug Access Program

What is not covered?
  • Drug expenses incurred before the patient is registered in the program
  • Medications that are not listed on the Manitoba Formulary
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Any supplies required that are available through other health services such as the Home Care Program
  • Medications for palliative patients who are in publicly funded facilities such as acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities and psychiatric hospitals.