Former teacher Barry Mansfield sits in his home

Costly Parkinson’s treatment to be covered for ‘small group’ of British Columbians

Health Minister Terry Lake said ‘suitable patients’ will be identified as part of a pilot project.

A small number of British Columbians suffering from Parkinson’s disease will soon be able to try the costly medication Duodopa, with fees covered by the province, as long as they have no other option of treatment.

In a statement released Tuesday, Health Minister Terry Lake said he’s been in discussion with Parkinson Society British Columbia and the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre about the high cost of the drug and its effectiveness.

Duodopa is a gel that is injected directly to the small intestine, pumping once every minute, which helps with absorption of other necessary medications.

Physicians at the research centre will identify suitable patients and submit requests for PharmaCare coverage under the ministry’s special authority program.

Coverage is expected to be granted for a “small number of patients who are clinically appropriate” and may benefit from Duodopa therapy. Other qualifications include that other therapies, such as deep-brain stimulation surgery, are not feasible for the patient.

Earlier this month, a group of residents in Hope launched a website, after they found out a former teacher suffering from Parkinson’s was unable to afford the $60,000-per-year therapy that isn’t currently covered through PharmaCare.

RELATED: Mansfield’s Parkinson’s spur residents to launch Duodopa for BC website

The website encourages people to write letters to their MLA, Lake and the person in charge of PharmaCare, Barbara Walman, asking them to support public funding of the therapy.

Meanwhile, Lake is in discussions with AbbVie, the manufacturer of Duodopa, to explore ways to make the product more affordable.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland has refused to pull herself off the case.

Air quality remains at high risk for Okanagan

The whole Okanagan is forecast to be set at a high risk for the remainder of the day

Pedestrian hit in Kelowna

Crews on scene helping struck pedestrian

Info session offered for those mulling a run for civic office in Kelowna

City will provide info about running and expectations for mayoral and councillor candidates Aug. 23

Falcons swept in WCL final

Kelowna loses 5-1 in game two of the championship to the Corvallis Knights

Check out what’s happening this weekend

Follow Social Squad member Matthew Abrey to find out what’s happening in the Okanagan-Shuswap

RCMP nab prolific car thief after month-long, B.C.-wide search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Court sides with developer in Jumbo ‘substantially started’ dispute

Resort developer successfully argues 2014 decision that halted the project was unfair

Snowy Mountain wildfire expected to create poor visibility

An update on the active wildfire burning 14 km north of Keremeos

Old Tom Creek wildfire grows to 144 hectares

Difficult terrain and weather challenging crews at Old Tom Creek wildfire

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Conditions improve for battling northwest B.C. wildfires, minister says

‘Self-evacuated’ people fleeing smoke advised to go home

Missing Alberta man believed to be travelling to Penticton

RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing man

Most Read