Through the Special Drugs Program, the Ministry of Health covers the full cost of certain outpatient drugs used in the treatment of specific conditions.

What is covered

The program covers:

  • Specific drugs for the treatment of cystic fibrosis
  • Amoxicillin, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), deferoxamine, folic acid, hydrocortisone injection, penicillin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for the treatment of thalassaemia
  • Zidovudine (AZT) for the treatment of HIV infection
  • Erythropoietin (EPO) for people with end stage renal disease
  • Cyclosporine for people who have had a solid organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Human growth hormone for children with growth failure
  • Clozapine for treatment of schizophrenia
  • Alglucerase for people with Gaucher's Disease

Who is eligible

The Special Drugs Program will cover costs for the above drugs if the patient:

  • is an Ontario resident
  • has a valid Ontario Health Insurance (OHIP)
  • has one of the diseases or conditions covered
  • meets the established clinical criteria
  • is under the care of an approved physician/designated care centre

Additional information

As a way for the ministry to ensure that the appropriate treatments for the diseases and conditions are prescribed, special facilities (usually at hospitals) have been designated to distribute these drugs. In some cases, special review committees have been established to ensure that the clinical criteria are met.