Confused about access to kidney cancer drugs in Canada?

If you’re confused about why it is that some cancer patients have access to drugs
and some don’t, you’re not alone. Please take a minute (ok, 10 minutes) to watch
our latest video. We made this video to explain what can be an incredibly
complicated situation in the most simplest form possible.
Let us know what you think.

Video.

The overriding message is that patients, families, and members of the public need
to speak up.
As we meet with Health Ministers across the country, we are hearing that
public pressure never hurts… and in many cases we know that treatments get
covered because enough people asked for them.

Please take the time to write a letter. If you get a response, please let us know.

Crazy Government Responses
Some of the Ministry of Health letters have been far off base from current medical reality. Some patients have received letters stating that second-line treatment in Ontario would indeed be covered (either Sutent or Nexavar) provided that the patient had taken Interferon as a first line therapy! This response is 100% unacceptable because kidney cancer specialists have not been prescribing Interferon as first-line therapy for at least 5 years.

If you took Sutent (as your doctor most likely recommended), well, you can’t have anything. Some letters have cited “limited options after a TKI treatment such as Sutent”. I’m not sure when “limited” came to mean “zero”, but that’s exactly what it means here.

Help us by turning up the volume on kidney cancer treatment issues. Make sure that your MPP/MLA/MNA knows you are out there in his or her riding, and that you have important questions for your Health Minister. And we want answers that make sense in 2010.

As always, we welcome your feedback.

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