How to Access Prescription Medications or Nicotine Replacement Therapy in BC
The BC Smoking Cessation Program helps eligible BC residents who wish to stop smoking or using other tobacco products by covering one of two treatment options outlined below:
- Prescription smoking cessation medications, or
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products
Please note that the BC Smoking Cessation Program only offers coverage of NRT and/or quit-smoking medications for those looking to quit tobacco products, and that these products are not currently covered for those looking to quit vaping only.
What is covered and how to access?
PharmaCare will cover one of two types of drugs:
- Bupropion (brand name Zyban®)
- Varenicline (brand name Champix®)
You can get coverage for up to 12 weeks of either of these drugs. Coverage is based on your income level and Pharmacare plan.
People who are on Pharmacare plan B, C, W or G are covered for the full cost of the prescription. Those registered for Fair Pharmacare may have to pay part or all of the cost.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Each calendar year, eligible BC residents can receive up to a three month supply of nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges through the BC Smoking Cessation Program. Simply visit your local community pharmacy with a BC medical card. Both you and the pharmacist must sign a declaration form.
You can get a 4-week (28-day) supply of one NRT product at a time. During the 12-week course of treatment, you can get three 4-week refills. If you started with one NRT product and want to switch to a different NRT product, you can request this at your pharmacy when you go back for your next refill.