Monday, March 26, 2007

'I want this drug in Alberta'

I feel for this mother, but I think she's asking the wrong question here. Alberta does not have the authority to approve drugs when it comes to safety and efficacy. This is a federal responsibility. To my knowledge, a provincial government won't cover a drug if it hasn't been approved yet. She should be asking for improved access to drugs that are as yet unapproved.

The article makes it sound like the mom has access to the drug but not the funds. As a result they are trying to raise money and get the government on board. My question is, when they raise the money, where are they going to access the drug? It's unapproved in Canada, which means that it can't be sold here, even if you have a prescription for it from your doctor.

Does she intend to buy it off the internet? Is she going to a foreign country where it has been approved? I'd like to know the answer to that.

It's pretty much impossible to get the government to pay for a treatment that isn't approved as being safe in this country yet. And shouldn't it be that way? The line has to be drawn somewhere, and this seems like a reasonable place to do it.

From the Edmonton Sun:
An Edmonton mom fighting for the $1-million-a-year drug therapy that could help prolong the lives of her three terminally ill sons says she’s blown away by a recent outpouring of community support.

That support includes a three-day charity Strip-a-thon – organized by exotic dancers from Showgirls – slated for three cities in mid-May.

But Nicole Miranda is less than impressed with the Alberta government.

“Regular Albertans have stepped up to help and the government, who has the money, is just sitting back,” she said Sunday. ...more

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