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Northwest Territories and Federal Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program to Fund Trikafta
November 9, 2021

TORONTO, November 8, 2021– Last week, the Northwest Territories (NWT) announced it will fund the life changing cystic fibrosis drug, Trikafta. The NWT government noted that residents in the NWT can access the drug through the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Extended and Métis Health Benefits programs. In addition to this news, as of November 1, 2021, registered and recognized First Nations and Inuit can access the drug under the Federal Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program.

The announcements did not indicate if cystic fibrosis physicians will be empowered to prescribe Trikafta to anyone who falls under Health Canada’s indication. Cystic Fibrosis Canada has requested clarity on access criteria.

Nearly every jurisdiction in Canada is now providing public funding for Trikafta. Cystic Fibrosis Canada understands Nunavut is working towards coverage of this life changing drug. In October, Nova Scotia’s Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson made a soft commitment to fund Trikafta, but the province has not yet moved to fund the drug. All other provinces and territories have announced funding.

“This is great news,” said Kelly Grover, President and CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Canada. “We are relieved that more jurisdictions in Canada will fund this life changing drug. We need all provinces and territories to fund this drug. We ask Nova Scotia to follow through on its commitment to fund the drug, and we are hopeful to see movement from Nunavut soon.”

While Trikafta has moved through the approval process at a rapid rate, a funding announcement does not necessarily mean coverage for those who need it. Many Canadians are still encountering challenges in accessing the drug. CF Canada will continue to push until all who can benefit from Trikafta have access.

Members of the Canadian cystic fibrosis community are invited to join Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s bi-weekly #TrikaftaToday Briefing on Wednesday, November 10th at 2pm AST/ 1pm EST / 12pm CST / 10am PT, to discuss this latest news and next steps for access.

For CF advocacy news, subscribe to CF Canada’s advocacy e-newsletter "The Advocacy Brief".

About cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting 4,344 Canadian children and young adults. There is no cure. Of the Canadians with cystic fibrosis who died in the past three years, half were under the age of 34. Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, degenerative multi-system disease that affects mainly the lungs and digestive system. In the lungs, where the effects are most devastating, a build-up of thick mucus causes severe respiratory problems. Mucus and protein also build up in the digestive tract, making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients from food. In addition to the physical effects of the disease, mental health concerns are emerging; anxiety and depression are common among this population. Double lung transplants are the final option for patients with end-stage disease; most fatalities of people with CF are due to lung disease.

About Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Cystic Fibrosis Canada has dramatically changed the cystic fibrosis story. We have advanced research and care that has more than doubled life expectancy. Since being founded by parents in 1960, Cystic Fibrosis Canada has grown into a leading organization with a central role engaging people living with cystic fibrosis, parents and caregivers, volunteers, researchers and healthcare professionals, government and donors. We work together to change lives for the 4,344 Canadian children and adults living with cystic fibrosis through treatments, research, information and support. Despite our remarkable progress together, we are not yet done. Not when half of the Canadians with cystic fibrosis who died in the past three years were under the age of 34. We will keep pushing, keep going further until all people with cystic fibrosis can and do experience everything life has to offer —and enjoy everything life has to offer.

For more information, please contact:

Cateryne Rhéaume, National Bilingual Communications and Marketing Associate
Tel: 438 868-4451

Nicole Young, Director
Tel: (905) 317-5529

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