Nothing to Celebrate

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 Program.

"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

For further information:

Media Contact:
Chris MacLeod
Chair of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Council

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Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Council

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