PLESSISVILLE, QC, June 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Pulmonary Arterial
Hypertension Foundation - Quebec (HTAPQ) was extremely disappointed
with the recommendation made yesterday by the Institut national d'excellence en santé et services sociaux (INESSS), which decided not to include Opsumit (macitentan) on the list of
medications covered by Quebec's public drug insurance plan.
The President of the HTAPQ Foundation, Denis Cormier, says he was
saddened to learn that patients will be deprived of this important
treatment option. "If new treatments which demonstrate therapeutic
effectiveness are approved by Health Canada, patients should have
access to them. Studies on Opsumit provide long-term data, which brings
a lot of hope to patients and their families."
Dr. David Langleben, Director of the Centre for Pulmonary Vascular
Disease at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, oversees one of only
two clinics in Quebec which specializes in PAH, a clinic that brings
together many patients. "To be able to fully support our patients, all
treatment options should be made available," says Dr. Langleben.
"Moreover, an individualized approach is appropriate since each
patient's medical team is unique due to the complexity, rarity and
rapid deterioration of quality of life in pulmonary arterial
hypertension (PAH) patients. The selection of a treatment approach from
among several options should be a decision made together by a patient
and their doctor. Easy access to approved medication is what is best
for patients' health."
Ms. Sandy Vachon, a mother of two who was diagnosed with PAH in 2013 at
the age of 27, can attest to the need for access to treatment options.
"Any additional and effective medication that improves quality of life
and reduces the progression of the disease must be accessible. As a
patient, it is very disturbing to learn that treatments that could have
a significant impact on our lives are not reimbursed. Considering the
fact that each patient's situation is unique, having access to the
latest treatments and to several options, allows for the possibility of
an optimal treatment plan," says Ms. Vachon.
The HTAPQ Foundation hopes that the government remains open to Opsumit
as an additional treatment option by including it on the list of
medications, providing publicly funded access for patients who could
benefit from this treatment. "If a new option exists and has been
medically proven, it must be accessible," says Mr. Cormier.
Opsumit and SERAPHIN
Opsumit (macitentan) was approved in November 2013 by Health Canada for
the long-term treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension to reduce
morbidity. The new oral tablet administered once daily is a novel dual
endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA). The safety and efficacy of
Opsumit were evaluated in the largest and longest randomized,
placebo-controlled study in PAH patients called SERAPHIN, and the first
long-term study to include a clearly defined, clinically-important
morbidity/mortality primary endpoint. The effect of Opsumit on the
morbidity and mortality endpoint was observed irrespective of whether
or not patients were already treated with other therapies for PAH.
About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (or PAH) is a rare disease affecting the
arteries of the lungs. When an individual has PAH, the arteries of
their lungs become narrowed and scarred. This can result in almost
complete closing of the arteries, which can lead to heart failure. Some
symptoms of PAH are shortness of breath; bluish hands, feet and lips;
swelling of hands and feet; light-headedness and dizziness; chest pain;
exhaustion and fainting. Because it shares many symptoms with other
diseases, PAH is often misdiagnosed. PAH is a terminal disease for
which there is currently no cure.
The Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Foundation - Quebec is a non-profit
organization created in November 2006. Its mission is to facilitate the
relationship between patients and caregivers, to support through the
help of medical equipment or funding for patients, and to increase
public awareness of PAH, while advocating for the best possible care
and treatment for patients. www.htapquebec.ca
SOURCE: LA FONDATION HYPERTENSION ARTÉRIELLE PULMONAIRE - QUÉBEC
For further information:
Denis Cormier | HTAPQ Foundation | 819-362-6275 | firstname.lastname@example.org