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Province Covers Drugs for Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder

People in Saskatchewan who need support to address problematic alcohol use now have access to another form of treatment.

Effective July 1, The Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan provides coverage for two drug products for the treatment of alcohol use disorder: Revia (naltrexone) and Campral (acamprosate). “Our government is committed to providing services to help people struggling with addictions,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “These products are an important addition to the continuum of alcohol treatment services offered throughout Saskatchewan.” Both drugs are used as part of an alcohol counselling program. Naltrexone is used to take away the cravings for alcohol. Acamprosate is used to maintain abstinence from alcohol in clients who have already stopped drinking. In 2015-16, there were more than 30,000 admissions to addictions services. These drugs complement the range of other provincially-funded alcohol and drug services including:

  • Outreach services;

  • Outpatient treatment in more than 50 centres;

  • Detoxification;

  • Inpatient treatment;

  • Long-term residential services; and

  • Day treatment.

Saskatchewan has also recently expanded access to brief detox programming in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina. The addition of these drugs to the formulary supports the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan recommendations with a particular focus around the support that primary health care providers offer to individuals with mental health and addictions issues, and reducing harm associated with alcohol misuse. The Saskatchewan formulary currently lists more than 5,400 drug products as benefits under the Drug Plan. Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has increased funding to the Drug Plan by approximately $49 million or 15 per cent.

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