Category Archives: Exceptional Access Program

Exceptional Access Program 4-month backlog

There was a bit of confusion at the pharmacy when I went in for Remicade yesterday. I was billed a dispensing fee for the very first time; usually the EAC covers the entire fee and Janssen covers my deductible, so … Continue reading

Posted in bureaucracy, Exceptional Access Program, frustration, government policy, Remicade, treatment | Leave a comment

National pharmacare in Canada creeps forward (I hope)

Earlier this month, the Canadian Press published an article about the current state of plans for a national pharmacare program in Canada based on a report by Dr. Marc-André Gagnon (“A Roadmap to A Rational Pharmacare Policy in Canada”). The way things stand … Continue reading

Posted in bureaucracy, Exceptional Access Program, government policy, government spending, illogical, insurance, reimbursement, statistics, treatment, Trillium Drug Program | 1 Comment

IV clinic confidential

Some of you who aren’t on intravenous medicine might wonder what it’s like to actually receive Remicade. Here’s a bit of what a typical visit to the clinic tends to be like for me. Pharmacy I go to the clinic … Continue reading

Posted in diagnostic tests, Exceptional Access Program, IV, mania, Remicade, side effects, social life, steroids, symptoms, treatment, Trillium Drug Program | Leave a comment

I’m one of the 12%!

Should I be celebrating? CIHI (the Canadian Institute for Health Information) released a report on spending on prescription drugs in Canada* (PDF) today. The summary page of the report is pretty clear: The majority of public drug spending is for a … Continue reading

Posted in bureaucracy, Exceptional Access Program, fatigue, government policy, government spending, insurance, Ontario Ombudsman, reimbursement, Remicade, statistics, treatment | Leave a comment

10 years of Remicade!

My next dose of Remicade will be the first one in my second decade of Remicade. Whoa. That’s a crazy thing to contemplate. When I was in manic steroid mode last weekend, I thought about going through my records and … Continue reading

Posted in Exceptional Access Program, finances, mania, Remicade, work | 1 Comment

Remicade is not new or experimental, so why does Ontario treat it as if it were?

Why is Ontario’s Provincial Parliament so out of touch about biologic medications? These medications — especially Remicade (infliximab) — account for a significant and fast-growing chunk of Ontario’s health expenditures*, so a rational discussion of how to balance their costs … Continue reading

Posted in anger, bureaucracy, evidence-based medicine, Exceptional Access Program, finances, frustration, government policy, illogical, reimbursement, Remicade, treatment guidelines | Leave a comment

Stupid cost-cutting strategies harm patients

The Exceptional Access Program (EAP) provides a valuable service to Ontarians on expensive life-saving medications, such as biologic drugs. Unfortunately, cost-cutting is a fact of life these days, and, of course, as a taxpayer and a (temporarily) unemployed person, I … Continue reading

Posted in anger, bureaucracy, evidence-based medicine, Exceptional Access Program, fatigue, finances, frustration, gut problems, illogical, immune suppression, methotrexate, Ontario Ombudsman, prednisone, reimbursement, Remicade, steroids, symptoms, treatment, ulcers, work | Comments Off on Stupid cost-cutting strategies harm patients

Day 5 of taper

I’m actually feeling OK — only a bit fatigued, and with less of a runny nose than before. I’ve been alert enough to put together a position statement for this blog. It is based on research I did in 2010 … Continue reading

Posted in allergies, Exceptional Access Program, fatigue, reimbursement, withdrawal | Comments Off on Day 5 of taper

I’m not the only one!

Here’s an example of a different patient in exactly the same situation as me, who got the Ontario Ombudsman to override the EAP’s insistence that he get off steroids, against the medical advice of his doctor! Good for him, but … Continue reading

Posted in anger, bureaucracy, evidence-based medicine, Exceptional Access Program, frustration, illogical, Ontario Ombudsman, reimbursement, Remicade, steroids | Comments Off on I’m not the only one!

Prednisone pros and cons

I’ve been somewhat fearful about going off prednisone, but it won’t be all bad. Here is my list of pros and cons about being on a low dose of prednisone: Pros of staying on prednisone: Prednisone, even on low doses, … Continue reading

Posted in allergies, arthritis, Exceptional Access Program, fatigue, prednisone, steroids, withdrawal | Comments Off on Prednisone pros and cons