Recent Dramatic Price Increases for Levocarb CR - June 16, 2022
Drug prices have experienced many changes recently. Some of the changes are due to increases in the price of raw chemicals, and others are associated with higher costs of production and shipping (supply chain issues).
Public drug plans, such as BC PharmaCare, only agree to cover a drug from a manufacturer at an agreed-upon price. If production costs increase, the selling price cannot be increased due to the agreement. This may result in the manufacturer deciding to stop producing the drug. However, to keep the drug available for patients, at some point the price has to be increased to meet the increased costs associated with production and shipping.
In the case of Levocarb CR, it was a discontinuation of the old version of the drug by the same manufacturer. They received agreement from the provincial public payers, including BC PharmaCare, to nearly double the price, resulting in patients, their healthcare plans, or Fair PharmaCare absorbing the additional cost.
To see the list price of a drug that has been agreed upon by BC PharmaCare and the manufacturer, search either the drug name or Drug Identification Number (DIN) using the link below: PharmaCare Formulary Search Results (gov.bc.ca)
For Levocarb CR 200/50mg, manufactured by AA Pharma with DIN02245211, it is $1.5425 per tablet, with maximum of 100 tablets per prescription. For a 90-day prescription, this equals $138.83 that BC PharmaCare agreed upon, and is the maximum amount that can be reimbursed through Fair PharmaCare.
Pharmacy Costs and Charges to the Patient:
A patient can ask ahead of time what the prescription will cost before they get it filled at a pharmacy, and can also compare different pharmacies to get a better price. In general, prices will be very similar, but may vary due to reasons such as differing dispensing fees. However, pharmacies still cannot charge PharmaCare a higher amount.
Fair PharmaCare is a provincial program that assists with the costs of most/many prescription medications. There is a one-time enrolment – your annual deductible will be reviewed each tax year. To learn more, please call 1-800-663-7100 or visit www.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare.
Although low prices for medicines are desired by patients, they can have detrimental impacts, such as a loss of drug availability. Fair PharmaCare is available for financial assistance.
Last updated: July 6, 2022