Two weeks ago KCC launched a media campaign in Atlantic Canada to congratulate the province of Newfoundland and Labrador on their funding of everolimus/Afinitor as a second-line treatment following Sutent or Nexavar (or both). Our goal was to influence the other Atlantic provinces to follow suit and do the right thing for kidney cancer patients.
Yesterday a personal call from the Nova Scotia Drug Plan Manager to KCC confirmed that eligible patients who need 2nd line treatment will have immediate access to everolimus/Afinitor. This is indeed terrific news for the two patients who were in immediate need of another treatment option post Sutent. Other patients in Nova Scotia can now rest assured that, should they need it, they will be able to access 2nd line treatment through the Nova Scotia Pharmacare drug benefit program.
That makes six provinces out of 10 officially funding 2nd-line treatment (BC, AB, SK, ON, NL and most recently NS). Patients in MB, we understand, have access on a case-by-case basis. Patients in QC currently have access through the Patient D’Exception program. (We sincerely hope that QC will officially list Afinitor in its October formulary listing to lessen the paperwork and ensure equal access across that province.)
In reality, patients in two of our smallest provinces have the most urgent need:
New Brunswick: we await a meeting with NB Drug Plan Management to understand WHY NB does not fund Torisel or Afinitor.
PEI: we are keen to hear from patients in PEI who would be willing to participate in a meeting with government officials in that province.
It’s bewildering to think that we have to fight for access in each province like this. The true measure of pCODR’s success (once it begins) will be equal and improved access across the country. In the meantime, we will continue to do battle for patients, one province at a time.
Thank you all for supporting our work for patients across this great country of ours.
Happy Canada Day!