Prescription drugs


Saskatchewan multiple sclerosis patients will soon have access to a new drug dimethyl fumarate, which is sold under the trade name Tecfidera.

Starting May 1, it will be included in the province's drug plan, which means patients can buy it here and some subsidies are available.

That will be important for some people because the drug is expensive — more than $1,000 a month if the customer has to pay the whole amount.

Tecfidera is used to treat adult MS patients with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease. It's taken in pill form and is believed to come with fewer side effects than similar drugs.

Health Canada approved the drug a year ago. Quebec is the only other province that covers the drug.

The province says there are about 3,700 people in the province who have MS, a neurological disease that impairs or destroys the function of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms can include loss of mobility, muscle spasms and vision loss.