Everyone knows there are significant pressures on the health sector, but the response from B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix to a Vernon resident is unacceptable.
Dix recently called Melissa Verleg, who is fighting cystic fibrosis and recently discovered the drug she needs, Orkambi, is no longer covered under health insurance.
“If I come off of it, my health is going to deteriorate very quickly,” said the mother of two young boys.
Verleg wants Orkambi included in the B.C. health plan but she’s been denied compassionate coverage.
“There was no compassion, no sympathy,” she said of Dix.
Now Orkambi isn’t cheap at more than $250,000 a year. Obviously that could have an impact on the health ministry’s budget and one drug can’t be approved in isolation when others also require costly prescriptions.
However, another cystic fibrosis drug that’s $308,000 a year is covered. One has to wonder why Victoria will pay for this drug, which doesn’t benefit Verleg, when Orkambi has been disallowed?
The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Society is frustrated with Dix.
“Premier Horgan must intervene directly and take a leadership role in this file to ensure that a path forward can be found to secure access to this drug, Orkambi, for the residents of B.C.,” said Chris Macleod, national chair of the society.
British Columbians shouldn’t go broke or have to fundraise for life-saving medication. Victoria needs to take the matter seriously.