Sunday, May 09, 2010

N.S. health minister says province too broke to fund costly vision-loss drug

From the Winnipeg Free Press:
Nova Scotia's health minister says the province is simply too broke to pay for a costly but effective drug used to treat those suffering from age-related vision loss.

A family delegation came to the legislature Thursday to ask Maureen MacDonald to consider funding for Lucentis, a drug used to combat macular degeneration.

It's estimated funding Lucentis would cost the province $4.5 million in the first year and the cost would rise to $10 million in the third year of its inclusion in the formulary.

Betty Jennings, who came to Province House on behalf of her 73-year-old mother, said her mother faces other health problems, ranging from depression to an increased chance of falls, if she doesn't get the drug.

"If you're asking where the money for this will come from, I think the money will come from all the medical treatments the government is not going to have to pay for if these people can see," she said. ...more

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