New program for pricey drugs
Published Friday, March 2, 2012 9:36AM MST
A Calgary woman who was given two years to live because of a rare lung disease received good news on Thursday when she learned that the drug she needs will be covered by health care.
Sandie Tomlinson has an Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency or Alpha-1 for short, which allows certain enzymes to attack healthy tissues, primarily the lungs.
Tomlinson's doctor suggested the drug Prolastin-C to keep her lungs functioning.
The drug is on the market but it is extremely expensive and Tomlinson's personal insurance would only cover a small percentage. The drug costs $80,000 a year.
Now a new program will give patients like Tomlinson access to expensive, life saving drugs.
On Thursday, the province announced a brand new program called the Short Term Exceptional Drug Therapy program.
Doctors who are convinced their patient's need one of these drugs can apply on their behalf to get it paid for.
Tomlinson's doctor was the one who recommended that she try Prolastin, so she is certain she'll be able to access the new program.
"I know I still have a long road ahead of me, but at least I have hope. For the last 11 months and 28 days, I actually didn't have too much hope," said Tomlinson.
The government is considering adding other drugs like Cyclosporine and CellCept to the program.