Use and reimbursement costs of smoking cessation medication under the Quebec public drug insurance plan
OBJECTIVES: Since October 2000, the nicotine patch, nicotine gum and bupropion have been reimbursed under Quebec's public drug insurance plan. The objective of this study is to describe use of these medications between October 2000 and December 2004 by smokers covered by the public plan, as well as the costs of reimbursing these medications. METHODS: Data from the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec were used to analyze prescriptions for smoking cessation medication issued to persons insured under the public drug insurance plan. RESULTS: Between October 1, 2000, and December 31, 2004, more than 300,000 Quebeckers covered by the public drug insurance plan were reimbursed for smoking cessation medications. This corresponds to a yearly average of 14% of all smokers insured under the public plan. The proportion of employment assistance recipients who used these medications was higher than the proportion of seniors or "other" insurance plan participants. Nicotine patches were the treatment of choice for most users. A total of $55 million was reimbursed by the public drug insurance plan for the nicotine patch, nicotine gum and bupropion over this four-year period. CONCLUSION: The reimbursement provisions put in place in Quebec in 2000 were successful in reaching financially disadvantaged smokers, at a cost that was comparable with other effective smoking cessation services.
Date de publication (Zotero)