In 2011, an agreement was signed that resulted in the creation of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the first authority of its kind in Canada. In 2013, the FNHA took over responsibility for the programs and services previously delivered by the federal government through Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch – Pacific Region.
One of the programs the FNHA inherited from Health Canada was the Non-Insured Benefits Program. Among the benefits included in this program were pharmaceutical benefits, which were provided even after the transition by Health Canada through a buy-back arrangement. However, in 2017, the FNHA transferred the provision of pharmacy benefits from the Non-Insured Benefits Program to PharmaCare Plan W, a new pharmacy benefits plan designed specifically for BC First Nations and delivered by PharmaCare, BC's public drug insurance program.
In 2019, Qatalyst (under the GGI brand) evaluated the FNHA's Pharmacy Program for BC First Nations. We focused on the transfer of the drug benefits to PharmaCare Plan W in 2017 and addressed a range of topics related to effectiveness, efficiency, governance structure, risk management and controls. Specifically, we reviewed the planning for and implementation of PharmaCare Plan W, the results of the transition, the opportunities for improvement, and the lessons learned that the FNHA can apply to changes in other health benefits.
Click the link below to read up on how the FNHA transitioned over its pharmacy benefits to PharmaCare Plan W and how the shift positions the FNHA to improve its pharmacy benefits going forward: