The Ontario government is expanding access to a treatment option for patients with cystic fibrosis.
The Department of Health said it was expanding coverage of Trikafta – a treatment for cystic fibrosis – to include all residents aged six and over under a publicly funded drug program.
According to the government, cystic fibrosis is a “rare and progressive genetic disease” that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body.
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The disease causes persistent lung infections and loss of lung function.
“The province is also changing eligibility criteria to remove the measurement of patient lung function to further reduce barriers for cystic fibrosis patients to access life-changing treatments,” read a statement. Press.
Previously, the Department of Health said the treatment was only available for those aged 12 and over.
“Following new recommendations from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), Ontario is now the first province to expand access to youth ages 6-11,” the statement said.
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According to the government, one in 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis. About 1,500 Ontarians have the disease.
The ministry said eligible patients and their families should contact their healthcare providers to determine if Trikafta is “the right treatment option” for them.
Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones said expanding coverage “will ensure that more children with cystic fibrosis can benefit from this innovative, life-changing treatment sooner.” .
“Providing patients with more treatment options is another step in our government’s work to build a stronger health care system for all Ontarians,” Jones said in a statement.
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Kelly Grover, President and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, said Friday’s news “will change the trajectory of the disease and the future of many Ontario children and adults living with cystic fibrosis.”
“Ontario was one of the first provinces to fund the drug for people ages 12 and older last year, and today continues to recognize the extraordinary transformative value of Trikafta, expanding coverage of Trikafta to include children ages 6 to 11,” Grover said.
“We are delighted to see that the restrictive start criteria has also been removed, allowing more people to access the drug. We celebrate this news alongside our CF community in Ontario, who have worked tirelessly for this day.
According to the Department of Health, at list price, Trikafta costs about $300,000 per year per patient.
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