Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Nothing to Celebrate

November 27, 2013

One Year Anniversary of Canadian Approval for KALYDECO Goes by Without
Public Access

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ – Canadians with cystic Fibrosis (CF) have
been living with unequal access to treatment for a full year now as
KALYDECO a life-saving treatment for this disease celebrates its one
year anniversary of approval by Health Canada without wide spread
public drug plan coverage. Some Canadians have been lucky enough to
receive this medication through their private insurance, but others
continue to wait for their provincial governments to provide coverage
while their lung function deteriorates day by day. The longer that
access to KALYDECO is denied to Canadian patients, the longer we
support a two-tier system where only those with private insurance can
gain access to this life saving treatment.

“All we are asking for is an equal chance for all cystic fibrosis
patients to get access to the treatment they need” said Christopher
MacLeod, Chair of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Council and a
CF patient who is receiving KALYDECO through his private insurance.
“Public coverage for KALYDECO in Canada has been stalled for too long
now, and for many patients access delayed is access denied.”

There are over 100 Canadians suffering from Cystic Fibrosis in Canada
for whom KALYDECO may be the only alternative to an eventual
transplant. The mean age of those killed by this disease is 22. The
Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Council is calling on provincial
governments to step up and provide public coverage for KALYDECO before
it is too late for those who need it. At this time the drug is only
available through private insurers, or through Quebec’s Special Access

“This is a treatment that has revolutionized the way in which Cystic
Fibrosis care will be delivered, it’s a game changer in the fight
against CF,” said Dr. Kieran McIntyre, doctor of Respirology and Cystic
Fibrosis at St. Michael’s Hospital. “I have patients that need this
medication but without private insurance will not be fortunate enough
to begin therapy. We cannot continue to have patients who are excluded
from the care they need.”

Canadians with CF have nothing to celebrate until provincial governments
decide that a two tier system for drug access is not acceptable and
that Canadians should not be denied life-saving medication solely
because they do not have private insurance.

“I spent three of the six months before I started taking KALYDECO in
hospital,” said Chris. “I’ve been on the drug for a year now and
haven’t spent a single day of that in hospital. I’m one of the lucky
ones, but there are many people out there who do not share my good
fortune. I will not rest until there is equal access for all CF
suffers. ”

SOURCE Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Council

Source: PR Newswire