NLPDP Part Two

So there’s been some more developments in getting my prescription coverage, which have really frustrated me to say the least. As you May know, Genvoya or other HIV prescriptions for those living with HIV in Newfoundland are not covered under the regular MCP program and you have to apply for coverage under NLPDP to actually have those prescription drugs covered with a certain amount of co-pay depending on your income.

I went through the initial application with the social worker at St.Clares where the immunodeficiency clinic is located and then as discussed in the last post was contacted by the program and at least to my understanding, I mean it really couldn’t have been any clearer that I didn’t have 2017 tax returns in Canada since I only returned in 2018 and I’ve been living out of country for well over 5 years at this point. When I called I always go through John, and after the conversation and discussing the fact that I didn’t have tax returns for this period he said he would speak to his manager and go ahead with the application.

Which is why today I was surprised to receive the mail from them saying that I was denied or rather denied at this point unless I submitted the proper documents within 30 days. 

Which obviously I’m guessing didn’t get conveyed to whom ever processed my application. It’s frustrating me beyond belief now because when I call the number for the program, I’m basically told I have to be transferred to John, and that goes directly to voicemail and then I’m turn takes days to get a reply. Similarly when I’m calling the social worker now despite sending several emails and leaving voicemail I’ve gotten emails asking what’s going on with NLPDP. It’s like, I already contacted you at several points and now it’s also just going directly to voicemail.

Either way one thing is clear, the current game plan for people living with HIV in Newfoundland is flawed, inadequate and needlessly complicated and a waste of time. Like my life depends on basically getting these pills and the longer I wait, the longer the virus level goes up and the more my CD4 count declines.

I can’t really go through my family doctor because she’s basically going to have to start at square one again and order the blood tests and genotyping and then prescribe Genvoya again and that’s going to take weeks.

In Taiwan, this process was completely streamlined and upon getting my positive diagnosis, I was on meds three days later. It’s been over a month now and I’m still not on meds in Newfoundland. Newfoubdland has to do better then this. Even if I wanted to just get the presicription now and pay for it myself it still takes way too long.

I wrote an email to Newfoundland’s Health Minister today actually to voice my concerns because honestly not covering HIV Meds under our MCP program just adds another time-consuming step to those living with HIV in obtaining their medication in a program that seems completely unorganized and lagged in Newfoundland. I mean honestly, if you’re calling somewhere and being immediately transferred to someone’s voice mail to only have your call returned like days or weeks later, that person has way to much work load.m, or the program is just not efficient. This needs to be better. In British Columbia and Alberta the meds are just covered, no if and’s or but’s- and this honestly just goes to show the state of affairs with Newfoundland although the province has always been slow moving.

Newfoundland only added PrEP to medical coverage a couple months ago and before that you’d have to get special authorization. Like seriously? So now basically Newfoundland has taken steps to actually prevent the transmission of HIV, but not to advance the programs for actual treatment and handling coverage of those living with HIV in the province.

If I haven’t heard back over the next couple weeks from the Health Minister I will call their office personally and asked to be contacted, just because I believe this is so important not only for Newfoundlanders, but for Canadians as well. And while many have the image that Canada just has this universal health coverage, there are still several gaps in programs and coverage for HIV medications.
王可森 (Kesen)

Canadian Born, Asia-Raised. Currently living in Taiwan. Interests include basically anything tech/web, music (Listen to my album on the left Menu!) Asian Politics and Policy, and Asian Boys lolol.