Expansion of Cystic Fibrosis medication

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This expansion will allow Trikafta to be available to CF patients ages six and older who meet the medical criteria.

On August 1, 2022, Saskatchewan will be expanding coverage for Trikafta, a cystic fibrosis (CF) medication. This expansion will allow Trikafta to be available to CF patients ages six and older who meet the medical criteria.

Health Minister Paul Merriman said, “We know that Trikafta has been shown to improve the quality of life for patients, and this expanded coverage will help children with CF and their families for years to come.”

Trikafta targets a specific genetic mutation that causes CF and about 90 per cent of CF patients are affected by this mutation.

“Today’s news will change the trajectory of the disease and the future for many children in Saskatchewan who live with cystic fibrosis,” President and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kelly Grover said. “Saskatchewan was one of the first provinces to fund the drug for those 12 years of age and older last year, and today has continued to recognize Trikafta’s extraordinary, transformative value, by expanding coverage of Trikafta to include children ages six to 11 years old. We celebrate this news alongside our CF community in Saskatchewan, which has worked tirelessly for this day.”

On October 1, 2021, coverage of Trikafta for patients ages 12 and older came into effect in Saskatchewan. In April, Health Canada approved Trikafta to treat ages six to eleven. The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health issued a revised version this month that jurisdictions expand coverage of Trikafta for patients six years and older who meet the criteria.

Two other CF medications are already covered in Saskatchewan. These two medications also target specific genetic mutations of the disease: Orkambi and Kalydeco. Coverage of Kalydeco has been listed on the Saskatchewan Formulary since 2014. Orkambi coverage was expanded in July 2021 for patients two years or older who meet certain medical criteria.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs of the body. This is a disorder that affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat, and digestive juices. These bodily fluids become thick and sticky for people with CF.

Some signs and symptoms of CF include:

  • A persistent cough that produces thick mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Repeated lung infections
  • Inflamed nasal passages or a stuffy nose
  • Recurrent sinusitis
  • Poor weight gain and growth
  • Intestinal blockage, particularly in newborns

Several complications can arise because of CF. Those included, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Damaged airways.
  • Chronic infections.
  • Growths in the nose.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Respiratory failure.
  • Thinning of bones.
  • Electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Consult a physician that is knowledgeable about CF if you think it affects you. Seek immediate medical care if you’re coughing up blood, have chest pain or have difficulty breathing, or have severe stomach pain and distention. According to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Registry, there are more than 4,300 CF patients in Canada and over 110 patients in Saskatchewan.

To learn more about CF you can visit https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/.

 

 



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