HealthPRO News

September 16, 2021

HealthPRO contract delivers up to 80% savings on an important colorectal cancer medication

Image of needle

When HealthPRO recognized a drastic price increase in the second-most purchased product in its Oncology Portfolio, leucovorin, the pharmacy team embarked on a two-pronged strategy to provide a more affordable solution to members while ensuring diversity of supply.


In the spring of 2018, the PS19 RFP for off-patent oncology items was posted for the contract cycle beginning June 1st, 2019, until May 31st, 2022. At the time, members were paying a fair price for the frequently used leucovorin injection, the second-highest volume product in HealthPRO’s oncology portfolio. This legacy molecule continues to be an important drug in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

A two-pronged solution

In the Spring of 2019, HealthPRO posted a subsequent PS19 Alternate Supplier RFP, and as a result, by June 1, 2019, HealthPRO’s efforts led to ensuring there would be at least two suppliers in the Canadian market.

Concurrently, the HealthPRO Pharmacy Team, using the Open Market Strategy, signaled the need for supply diversity for this molecule. Oncology members advised that larger vial sizes such as a 100 mL vial would be advantageous, and the introduction of the smaller 5 mL and 20 mL vials, would provide flexibility and improve security of supply.

A Market Response RFP was posted for the 5 mL vial in Spring 2019. Another supplier submitted a successful response, and their 5 mL vial was added to contract in September 2019 – adding a third supplier in the market for leucovorin.

Furthermore, this same supplier obtained Health Canada approval to market 20 mL and 100 mL vial sizes with a Notice of Compliance (NOC) issued in Spring 2020 and a planned market launch of the 100 mL vial for the final quarter of 2020.

Driving savings & diversity of supply

Since HealthPRO had been monitoring for new market opportunities it was able to leverage its position by taking swift action in posting a market response RFP in Q1 2021 and awarded the 100 mL vial in early Spring 2021.

In continuing discussions with this new supplier, reviewing demand, projected usage and supply capabilities, HealthPRO finalized a contract effective July 1, 2021, that will deliver cost savings of approximately 80% to the committed members. Given the national demand, sites will be onboarded to this new contract between July 2021 and January 2022.