03/26/2012 07:13 EDT | Updated 05/26/2012 05:12 EDT

BC expands coverage under PharmaCare plan for new drug for hepatitus-C

VICTORIA - The B.C. government is expanding drug coverage under the PharmaCare plan for people suffering from hepatitis C.

Patients who meet certain eligibility requirements will be provided with the drug boceprevir, which was approved by Health Canada last summer, and which has been shown in clinical trials to boost cure rates by as much as 25 per cent when used in combination with other drugs.

The drug is known by the trade names Victrelis and Victrelis Triple.

The government says it will cost up to $50 million to provide the drug over the next three years.

Health Minister Mike de Jong says the drug will help hundreds of B.C. residents suffering with hepatitis C, including those who've haven't had success with other therapies.