PharmaCare for B.C. Residents
BC PharmaCare helps B.C. residents pay for eligible prescription drugs, certain medical supplies, and pharmacy services.
For most PharmaCare plans, you must be actively enrolled in the Medical Services Plan of B.C. (MSP).
PharmaCare covers eligible prescription drugs and medical supplies through several drug plans. The largest is the Fair PharmaCare plan, which is based on income: the lower your income, the more help you get.
Once you have PharmaCare coverage, at the pharmacy, you pay only the costs PharmaCare does not cover. BC PharmaCare also covers some pharmacy services.
Find out which pharmacies are not enrolled in PharmaCare or are enrolled with limits and conditions. ?
General coverage policies apply to all PharmaCare plans. Follow the links to read about these plans.
- Fair PharmaCare—B.C.’s income-based plan. Most B.C. residents are covered by this plan. You can register online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Plan B—Permanent residents of licensed residential care facilities
- Plan C—Individuals receiving income assistance from the Province of British Columbia
- Plan D—Individuals registered with a provincial cystic fibrosis clinic
- Plan F—Children receiving medical or full financial assistance through the At Home Program of the Ministry of Children and Family Development
- Plan G—Clients of mental health services centres for whom the cost of medication is a significant barrier to treatment
- Plan P—BC Palliative Care Benefits Program for those who choose to receive palliative care at home
- Plan W—First Nations Health Benefits
BC PharmaCare covers a comprehensive list of drugs and medical supplies, including:
- Most drugs prescribed by your physician, dentist, midwife, nurse practitioner, optometrist or podiatrist licensed and practising in B.C.
- Insulin, needles, syringes, blood glucose monitoring strips, and insulin pump supplies for people with diabetes
- Insulin pumps for children and adolescents with diabetes
- Certain ostomy supplies
- Designated permanent prostheses
- Designated children's orthoses
- Designated nicotine replacement therapy products and smoking cessation prescription drugs for all B.C. residents with active MSP coverage through the BC Smoking Cessation Program
- Medications prescribed by your doctor as part of a Medical Assistance in Dying process
- Pharmacy dispensing fees
- The full cost of a pharmacist-delivered medication review services for most B.C. residents taking 5 or more medications
- All B.C. residents for clinical services fees associated with prescription renewal or adaptation by pharmacists
- Fees for pharmacists to administer publicly funded vaccines
- Drugs or supplies purchased from pharmacies not enrolled in the PharmaCare Program (PDF, 161KB)
- Drugs or supplies purchased outside B.C. or from companies or pharmacies located outside B.C., except eligible Plan W benefits
- Any portion of a dispensing fee above the maximum dispensing fee PharmaCare recognizes or above the maximum number of fees PharmaCare allows
- Drug costs above the maximum drug price PharmaCare recognizes
- Most drugs purchased over-the-counter, unless the drug is eligible under a specific PharmaCare plan
- that PharmaCare has reviewed and decided not to cover
- for which a manufacturer has not submitted a request for PharmaCare coverage
- that PharmaCare is currently considering for coverage
- available as part of a private clinical trial
- paid for by another payer, such as:
- a private or federal insurer
- WorkSafe BC or the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)
- through an Award for Damages or settlement agreement
- prescribed by a veterinarian
- used to treat infertility, as diet therapies, or those normally used for cosmetic purposes (such as for hair loss or wrinkle prevention)
- provided through other agencies or facilities such as:
- drugs dispensed or administered in hospitals and emergency departments
- drugs used to treat cancer (available through the BC Cancer Agency)
- drugs for anti-retroviral treatment (funded by PharmaCare but available only through the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS)
- drugs for transplants (available through the BC Transplant Society)
- drugs for kidney dialysis (available through the BC Renal Agency)
- vaccines funded by the BC Centre for Disease Control
- Medical supplies and devices not listed on the Medical Supplies page, and other items such as:
- Hearing aids or hearing aid batteries
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines
- Wheelchairs and walkers
- Baby formula
- Herbal medicine products
- Artificial sweeteners
Every prescription dispensed in any B.C. community pharmacy is recorded in PharmaNet. The information in PharmaNet can be used by pharmacies and authorized health professionals in medical practices, hospitals, and emergency departments to improve drug safety for patients and support timely, accurate treatment.
PharmaCare offers a wealth of publications for individuals, health care providers, manufacturers and researchers. You can also access the forms required for coverage under the Fair PharmaCare plan or for specific drugs that require PharmaCare's pre-approval.