The local Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community is welcoming news that the province is expanding coverage for Tikafta, the latest treatment option to include all Ontarians ages six and over.
Coverage is now included through the publically-funded drug program.
The province is also changing the eligibility criteria to remove the measurement of a patient’s lung function.
“Today (Friday, July 8) is a very good day in the Cystic Fibrosis community,” says Macrina Perron, regional advocate and chapter volunteer. “It means that folks who need this medication can access it regardless of whether or not they have private insurance. It means that those who have the disease and have the genetics that speak to Trikafta can take it without red tape around baseline level of health.”
Perron says they didn’t expect this news so quickly.
“It’s been about 48 hours since the recommendations have been released and we always hope the province will react quickly,” she says. “This is next level quick and we are so grateful.”
Perron says they’re also grateful for the continuing support of the community.
“It’s the largest of all the rare diseases and folks affected by CF, there’s only about 4400 in the country,” she says. “To have a response from a community the way North Bay has shown up for us in advocating and supporting our cause, sending letters, supporting events and raising funds. On behalf of the North Bay chapter we are just so grateful for this community.”
The province says expanding coverage will ensure that more children with cystic fibrosis will be able to benefit from this innovative, life-changing treatment sooner.
“Our government takes very seriously the struggles that cystic fibrosis patients and their families have with the debilitating effects of this disease and we know there is hope that each new drug may deliver the promised improvement,” says MPP Vic Fedeli. “That’s why it is so important we are moving quickly to support these patients and make decisions based on the best evidence available.”
He says Ontario is now the first province to expand access to youth aged six to 11.
Fedeli says eligible patients and their families should reach out to their health care team to help determine if Trikafta is the right treatment option for them.