Those suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in Saskatchewan may be open to some expanded drug access.
Recently, the government of Saskatchewan saw fit to provide a wider range of access to Trikafta. The medication is well proven to provide improved lung function and is being made available today to CF two to five years of age.
These children will need to meet specific medical criteria before being approved, but for those who do, it's expected to make a huge difference. Currently, there are only around five children in the province in that age range suffering from CF.
Everett Hindley, MLA for Swift Current and Minister of Health in Saskatchewan, beleives this is a strong move in combatting the disease in the province.
"It has been shown to have a significant impact, improving the quality of life for the patients," said Hindley. "That's why we feel it's important to continue to expand coverage."
While the drug has proven very effective in children aged 6 - 12 years old previously, it has done so at a steep cost. Hindley revealed that on a per-person basis, Trikafta costs $300,000 annually. A six-figure sum is not often seen in the Canadian healthcare field for medications.
In fact, this medication cost the provincial government around $20 million in the last budget cycle. This was within the drug plan for existing coverage. It's due to the extreme effectiveness of the medication that the province has eaten such a huge cost for such a small caseload of individuals.
"This is something that is shown through research to be very effective," said Hindley. "That's why we're supporting the coverage of it at this point in time."
In Canada, there are roughly 4,300 CF patients. Of those, 125 reside within Saskatchewan. Hindley is hopeful that the continued prescription and expansion of Trikafta will allow these individuals relief and improved quality of life while a cure is researched.