N.S. to cover cost of life-changing CF drug
The 190 Nova Scotians who live with cystic fibrosis have gotten a substantial lift from the province. The Progressive Conservative government announced Nov. 18 that, starting immediately, the province will fully cover the cost of the drug Trikafta. “Providing access to this game-changing drug as soon as possible and at no cost to the patient was our goal," Health Minister Michelle Thompson said in a news release. Anne Marie Drake, an advocate and mother of sons living with cystic fibrosis, said it's “a life-changing day” for people affected by the disease. “Trikafta targets the root cause of cystic fibrosis and helps break the cycle of infection and deteriorating lung function,” Drake said in the release. “Our son calls this drug a ‘dream come true.' We are forever grateful to the CF community for their efforts in making this day a reality. While this is an exciting day, we look forward to the day when every Canadian who needs Trikafta can access it.” Cystic fibrosis is a rare and progressive genetic disease that affects children and adults. The disease causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body, resulting in persistent lung infections and to the loss of lung function. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis and it is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has the disease. Trikafta is used to treat the most common form of the disease, seen in about 90 per cent of patients. The potentially life-saving drug was approved by Health Canada on June 18 for people aged 12 and up with cystic fibrosis and at least one F508del mutation. Trikafta costs approximately $300,000 per patient per year. The Canadian approval process included a review by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, and coverage in Nova Scotia will be based on the agency's recommendations. Patients who do not meet the specific criteria regarding lung function will be assessed for coverage on a case-bycase basis as recommended by their specialist. “Trikafta is the single greatest innovation in cystic fibrosis history,” said Kelly Grover, president and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.