News release

Province Covers Cost of New Cystic Fibrosis Drug

Starting today, November 18, Nova Scotia will provide additional support for cystic fibrosis patients by fully covering the cost of the drug Trikafta.

Cystic fibrosis is a rare and progressive genetic disease that affects children and adults. Trikafta is used to treat the most common form of the disease, seen in about 90 per cent of patients.

“Providing access to this game-changing drug as soon as possible and at no cost to the patient was our goal,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “This is at the core of what we want to do to improve the health and well-being of Nova Scotians – giving patients access to innovative and effective treatments.”

Trikafta costs approximately $300,000 per patient per year.

Health Canada approved Trikafta in June. The approval process included a review by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, and coverage in Nova Scotia will be based on the agency’s recommendations. Patients who do not meet the specific criteria regarding lung function will be assessed for coverage on a case-by-case basis as recommended by their specialist.

Quotes:

Trikafta is the single greatest innovation in cystic fibrosis history, and it has the power to transform the lives of thousands of Canadians. The cystic fibrosis community in Nova Scotia has fought long and hard to get this drug into their hands. Access to Trikafta will mean longer and healthier lives for many people and the ability to plan for a future that many feared they might not live to see. Kelly Grover, President and CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Canada

Today is truly a life-changing day for many people impacted by cystic fibrosis in Nova Scotia. Trikafta targets the root cause of cystic fibrosis and helps break the cycle of infection and deteriorating lung function. Our son calls this drug a ‘dream come true.’ We are forever grateful to the CF community for their efforts in making this day a reality. While this is an exciting day, we look forward to the day when every Canadian who needs Trikafta can access it. Anne Marie Drake, advocate and mother of sons living with cystic fibrosis

Quick Facts:

  • cystic fibrosis causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body; it causes persistent lung infections and leads to loss of lung function
  • it is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis; there is currently no cure for cystic fibrosis
  • an estimated 190 Nova Scotians have cystic fibrosis
  • the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health provides critical insight from patients, clinicians and experts to ensure drug funding recommendations are evidence-based and consider clinical benefit and cost-effectiveness
  • the provinces and territories accelerated the negotiations process to reach an agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for Trikafta and two other cystic fibrosis medications – Orkambi and Kalydeco

Additional Resources:

For more information about Nova Scotia’s pharmacare programs, visit: https://novascotia.ca/dhw/pharmacare/nova-scotians.asp

To learn more about cystic fibrosis, visit: https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

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Media Contact:

Kristen Lipscombe
Cell: 902-220-8621 Email: