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

Central Green project gets the green light

Kelowna city council approved a permit on the building which includes a large urban park

Kelowna artist creates fundraiser for a friend

Artist Laurie Koss was inspired by her friend’s cancer battle to help her keep fighting

Kelowna driver’s actions endangered police and public

Man fled in truck, then abandoned vehicle, after cops flagged him down

Update: One injured in Lake Country bus crash

A Central Okanagan School District bus was in an accident Monday morning

Robbery suspect charged

A 32-year-old man faces three charges in connection with robbery attempt at Vernon convenience store

Dragoons showcase “unique” recruiting tool

If you see an armoured vehicle rumbling along Hwy 97 in Vernon, the BC Dragoons say don’t worry..

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Penticton bookkeeper may face jail time for embezzlement

Sentencing stances ranged from three years of probation to six months in jail for $60k embezzlement

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

Penticton Lakers lose to Kelowna Owls in basketball provincial qualifier

Junior girls basketball provincial qualifier held in Penticton

Lawyer says RCMP cleared in car wash shooting

Independent report into shooting of Kayman Winter not yet released to the public.

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Most Read