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Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic Canada province yet to confirm it will fund the drug
TORONTO, October 15, 2021 – Prince Edward Island (PEI) is the latest province to announce it will fund the transformational cystic fibrosis drug, Trikafta. Cystic Fibrosis Canada is pleased that the province has made good on its July 2020 commitment to fund the drug. At that time, PEI was the first province to commit to changing the lives of its residents with cystic fibrosis by funding Trikafta upon completion of the approval process.
PEI is the sixth province to list Trikafta, and joins Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and British Columbia in funding this life changing cystic fibrosis drug. This week, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia confirmed their intention to list Trikafta. Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic province that has not moved to fund Trikafta, despite its promise made in December 2020 to do so upon completion of the review process. Cystic Fibrosis Canada calls on the leadership of Newfoundland and Labrador to honour this commitment and change lives by funding the drug immediately.
While the drug will now be eligible under the PEI Pharmacare formulary beginning November 1, the announcement did not indicate if cystic fibrosis physicians will be empowered to prescribe Trikafta to anyone who falls under Health Canada’s indication, as is the case in Alberta and Saskatchewan, or if the province will follow the CADTH recommendation. The announcements from Ontario and Quebec indicate they are following CADTH’s recommendation and that those who do not meet the narrow criteria may work with their clinician to be considered for funding on a case-by-case basis. PEI has noted that more information about its listing and coverage criteria will be shared in the coming days.
“We are very happy that Prince Edward Island has come through on its promise to fund Trikafta,” said Kelly Grover, President and CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Canada “We have worked long and hard alongside our advocates in PEI to see this day come to fruition. This announcement will change the future for people impacted by this disease. It is our hope that the remaining provinces, territories and federal drug funding programs will follow the lead of the six provinces funding the drug.”
Four provinces, three territories and federal drug funding programs have not yet listed Trikafta. While there has been good momentum in Manitoba and the Yukon towards funding the drug, CF can’t wait. Cystic Fibrosis Canada is calling on Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program to immediately fund the drug under public drug programs using Health Canada’s indications and Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s clinician-developed guidelines for access and continuation. We urge all remaining jurisdictions to ensure swift and broad access for all who could benefit from the drug as recommended by their physician.
"People with cystic fibrosis have been waiting our entire lives for a treatment like Trikafta,” said Hunter Guindon, of Charlottetown, who lives with cystic fibrosis. “This is a huge day for the cystic fibrosis community on PEI. This will change what it means to live with cystic fibrosis on Prince Edward Island.”
In June 2021, Health Canada approved the use of Trikafta for people with cystic fibrosis over the age of 12 with at least one F508del mutation, the most common CF-causing mutation. However, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) later provided narrower guidance on who could be eligible for Trikafta. L’Institut national d'excellence en santé et services sociaux (INESSS) in Quebec made a similar recommendation to CADTH. With one exception, no other jurisdiction in the world has imposed this condition. Fortunately, the recommendations are non-binding; provinces and territories have the power to change the trajectory of this disease and prevent needless suffering and irreparable damage.
Members of the community and supporters are invited to join a Facebook Live on Monday, October 18 at 8 pm ADT on the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Atlantic Region Facebook page to discuss the news from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI and the ways we are working to get the remaining provinces and Territories to fund Trikafta.
For CF advocacy news, subscribe to CF Canada’s advocacy e-newsletter "The Advocacy Brief".
For more information or to speak to a community member or clinician for a reaction, 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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