Ontario to fund Kalydeco 'within weeks'
Madi Vanstone, 12, of Beeton, Ont., had pushed government to fund costly CF drug
A schoolgirl who pushed the Ontario government to fund a costly drug appears to have got what she wanted.
Madi Vanstone, 12, of Beeton, Ont., suffers from a rare genetic variant of cystic fibrosis.
She has been taking Kalydeco, a drug which was not being covered by the province, even though it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for a year’s supply.
Vanstone and her family had been lobbying the government on the issue. She made trips to the legislature and even met with the premier.
- Madi Vanstone 'frustrated' by lack of progress on Kalydeco
- Madi Vanstone, 12, asks Ontario to fund pricey drug
On Tuesday, her mother received a call from the health minister.
"I have been assured by Deb Matthews that Ontario is going to fund it, so she told me that within weeks that this drug will be in the hands of all the people that need it," Beth Vanstone told CBC News in a telephone interview.
Madi said it feels "so great" to have got what she needed and to have been able to help others in the same position.
The news comes days after the Pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance, the organization which negotiates on behalf of the health care programs of most provinces and territories, and the drug’s manufacturer reached a tentative deal on Kalydeco.
The deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals took months to reach, with the provinces complaining they were being charged more for Kalydeco than other countries.
There is still some paperwork to do before it can be approved, but the Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long Term Care says it will bring the drug into the publicly funded program as soon as possible.
It is estimated that 118 people living in Canada, including dozens in Ontario, are taking Kalydeco.
Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne told reporters today that the timing of the deal was not related to the provincial election taking place next week.
"I'm just pleased that a deal has been reached, that Kalydeco can be covered," Wynne said.
With reports from the CBC's Nil Koksal and The Canadian Press