Approve life saving medication for Melissa.
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Melissa Verleg is a young Vernon mom who has Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a debilitating disease that affects primarily the lungs and digestive system, and one which makes leading a normal life all but impossible. There is no cure for CF. There is however a drug, Orkambi, that has shown itself to be hugely beneficial in the treatment of the disease. For some time now, Melissa has been taking Orkambi which has significantly improved the quality of her life. Unfortunately however, the private insurer who provided coverage of the drug for Melissa is discontinuing that coverage as of January 2018 and at a cost of approximately $250,000 a year the family cannot afford to cover it themselves. Melissa has appealed to the B.C. Ministry of Health to cover the cost of the drug but so far has been turned down. Reasons cited for this refusal include the high price and no proven indication of any benefits from the drug. And yet, the Ministry recently approved payment for Soliris for an individual at a cost of $750,000 a year, 3 times the cost of Orkambi. And Melissa can attest first hand to the benefits Orkambi has made to her quality of life, which she anticipates will deteriorate without the medication. We therefore urge Health Minister Dix to revisit his decision and approve funding of Orkambi for Melissa in order that she is able to live a normal life raising her children.
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