VENCLEXTA®, a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), now reimbursed across Western Canada

Montreal, QC, September 25, 2019 – AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global research and development-based biopharmaceutical company, announced today that Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia and Saskatchewan are listing VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax) on their public formularies. VENCLEXTA monotherapy is indicated for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have received at least one prior therapy and for whom there are no other available treatment options. VENCLEXTA is an oral, once-daily medicine.


“People living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in Western Canada finally have access to Venclexta, which is great news considering the nature of this disease. When faced with CLL, which can be recurrent, it is important to offer physicians and their patients highly effective options to tackle this illness,” explains Elizabeth Lye, Director of Research & Programs at Lymphoma Canada. “At Lymphoma Canada, we hope that soon all Canadians will have access to this treatment.”


VENCLEXTA is listed under the Alberta Health Services, Outpatient Cancer Drug Benefit Programi, as a Part 3 benefit in Manitoba Pharmacare’s Home Oncology Drug Programii, by the British Columbia Cancer Lymphoma Tumour Groupiii and on the formulary of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agencyiv. All four provinces reimburse VENCLEXTA monotherapy for CLL patients who have received at least one prior therapy and who have failed a B-Cell receptor inhibitor (BCRi), with specific criteria.


For further information regarding specific provincial criteria consult the links below:


“As a clinician, I need to have several treatment options available for my patients to effectively and successfully treat their CLL. It is great news that venetoclax is now reimbursed for Western Canadians,” says Dr. Carolyn Owen, MD, MDres(UK), FRCPC, Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Hematological Malignancies, Foothills Medical Centre. “Venetoclax is an innovative molecule that selectively inhibits the BCL-2 protein, which is responsible for helping cancer cells survive in the blood.”


CLL, which is typically a slow-progressing cancer of the bone marrow and bloodv, is one of the most common types of leukemia in adults. In Canada, CLL accounts for approximately 1,745 newly diagnosed cases of leukemia each year and is responsible for more than 600 deaths a


“When my physician told me I had CLL, I had no idea what this meant for my life expectancy. I am a husband, father and grandfather and I want to be around for my family as long as possible,” explains


Dale Jordan of Calgary, Alberta. “After discussing my options with my physician, he recommended VENCLEXTA. I am fortunate to live in a province where people can now access this medication.”


VENCLEXTA is being developed by AbbVie and Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. It is jointly commercialized by the companies in the U.S. and by AbbVie outside of the U.S.


About AbbVie Care

Canadians prescribed VENCLEXTA will have the opportunity to be enrolled in AbbVie Care, AbbVie’s signature care program. The program is designed to provide a wide range of customized services including reimbursement and financial support, pharmacy services, lab work reminders and coordination, personalized education and ongoing disease management support throughout the treatment. For more information, please visit


About AbbVie

AbbVie is a global, research and development-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at and Follow @abbvieCanada and @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.




Media Inquiries:

Muriel Haraoui 514.717.3764


i Alberta Health Services. Accessed September 2019.

ii Manitoba Pharmacare. Manitoba Drug Benefits and Interchangeability Formulary Amendments. Bulletin #105. Effective August 22, 2019. Accessed

September 2019.

iii BC Cancer. Provincial Systemic Therapy Program. September 2019. therapy-site/Documents/2019%20ST%20Updates/ST%20Update_Sep%202019.pdf. Accessed September 2019. iv Saskatchewan Cancer Agency Drug Formulary. September 3, 2019. Accessed September 2019.

v Lymphoma Canada. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Available at 101/types-lymphoma/cll. Accessed September 2019.

vi Canadian Cancer Statistics. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia statistics. information/cancer-type/leukemia-chronic-lymphocytic-cll/statistics/?region=on. Accessed September 2019.