Canada’s public Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is now covering the breakthrough cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco, a decision that came after public pressure to cover the drug.
The Ministry of Health made the announcement Friday afternoon, saying the medication for a specific genetic variant of the debilitating lung disease is now on the Ontario Drug Benefit plan.
“Ontario will now fund Kalydeco for Ontarians affected by cystic fibrosis who qualify for treatment,” the ministry said in a statement noting physicians can submit requests for funding through the exceptional access program.
The public effort to get the funding centered on 12-year-old Madi Vanstone of Beeton, Ont, who suffers from CF. She and her family had been relying on community fundraisers to help pay for the drug, which is manufactured by Vertex Pharma of Boston and costs $300,000 per year. Prior to the OHIP coverage, the Vanstone’s private health insurance and assistance from Vertex Pharma left the family to cover about one-fifth the cost.
“I’m hugely relieved,” her mother, Beth Vanstone, told the Toronto Star.