Nova Scotia now covering expensive cystic fibrosis drug for children ages 6-11

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Trikafta, which costs roughly $300,000 a year at its list price, is seen in an undated handout photo.  (Cystic Fibrosis Canada/Handout/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Trikafta, which costs roughly $300,000 a year at its list price, is seen in an undated handout photo. (Cystic Fibrosis Canada/Handout/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Nova Scotia will now cover the cost of the cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta for children ages six to 11.

This comes months after Health Canada approved the use of the drug for that age group in April.

"Today's news will change the trajectory of the disease and the future for many children and adults in Nova Scotia who live with cystic fibrosis," Kelly Grover, president and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, said in a press release Monday.

Nova Scotians over the age of 12 with cystic fibrosis have been eligible for provincially funded Trikafta since November 2021.

Without a provincial program, Trikafta could cost patients as much as $300,000 per year.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in children and young adults in Canada. There is no cure for the disease that causes a build-up of mucus in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body.

It is estimated that one in 3,600 babies in Canada are born with cystic fibrosis. It is estimated that 190 people in Nova Scotia have the disease.

Trikafta can be used to treat about 90 per cent of cystic fibrosis patients.

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recommended on July 6 that provinces provide coverage for the drug for children in this age group and that some qualifying criteria for the drug be removed.

The province said it will implement those recommendations.

Patients are able to register for the province's cystic fibrosis program through their cystic fibrosis clinic at the IWK.

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