Provincial Press Release September 24, 2021, 11:01 pm Published at 2:55 pm
Alberta is among the first provinces and territories in Canada to provide access to the new cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta.
Trikafta is used to treat the most common form of cystic fibrosis, which affects about 90 per cent of those living with the disease. The medication is approved for those 12 years and older who meet eligibility criteria.
“We know that having access to this new medication is extremely important to Albertans living with cystic fibrosis and they are eagerly anticipating its availability. With that in mind, Alberta’s government streamlined its processes so this prescription drug could be provided to them sooner. We are pleased to provide Albertans with access to new, innovative medications when there is evidence to support their effectiveness and improved health outcomes.” Jason Copping, Minister of Health
“I’m delighted to see this announcement and I want to offer congratulations to Minister Copping. This file was near to my heart; I was proud to help streamline the process to help these patients and families, and others, access innovative therapies when they’re supported by the evidence. I wish the very best to the young people who will benefit from this decision, and their families.” Tyler Shandro, Minister of Labour and Immigration
“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 Alberta has fought long and hard to get this drug into their hands. Access to Trikafta will mean longer and healthier lives for so 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
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease in which thick mucus accumulates in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis may include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, frequent chest infections and weight loss.
“We are thrilled to hear that Alberta is one of the first provinces in the federation to enter into a price listing agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to make Trikafta available to all eligible cystic fibrosis patients. We are grateful for Alberta’s leadership on this file and the speed by which it has implemented the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance letter of intent. Lives will be saved as a result.” Chris MacLeod, national chair, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Society
Cystic fibrosis can lead to serious respiratory issues, malnutrition and other complications. This progressive disease affects about 600 Albertans.
“I was granted compassionate access to Trikafta in June 2020. I went from being on oxygen and starting the process for a double lung transplant to finally taking a deep breath and fully living my life as an active wife and mom. I am beyond thrilled that youth burdened with this devastating disease will be given a chance to live a much healthier life. Our province's already strong cystic fibrosis care is now set up to be the best it can be and Albertans with cystic fibrosis will breathe easier and live longer, healthier lives.” Amanda Bartels, cystic fibrosis patient
Trikafta was approved by Health Canada on June 18.
On Sept. 16, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recommended listing the drug for the treatment of cystic fibrosis in patients 12 years and older who have at least one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene, are experiencing decreased lung function and are optimized with best supportive care.
The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance negotiated an agreement on pricing and conditions of coverage for cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Kalydeco. That agreement was subsequently extended to include Trikafta.
Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Society
Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Senior Press Secretary, Health