April 30, 2014 2:45 pm

Saskatchewan to cover new multiple sclerosis drug

Starting on May 1st, the province will be providing coverage for the drug Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) to treat relapsing-remitting MS patients who meet certain criteria.

Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

REGINA – Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in Saskatchewan will soon have access to a new medication.

Starting May 1, the province will be providing coverage for the drug Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) to treat relapsing-remitting MS patients who meet certain criteria.

“MS patients and specialists have been asking for coverage of this medication and our government is pleased to make it more accessible to those who need it,” said Health Minister Dustin Duncan.

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“This option does not require injections, and has the potential to improve the quality of life for MS patients by reducing the number of relapses they experience and slowing the progression of the disease.”

MS is a neurological disease that impairs or destroys the function of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

In Saskatchewan, around 3,700 people are affected by MS which is the highest rate per capita in the country.

“The MS Society is very pleased with the news that Saskatchewan has given people living with MS in our province access to another option to manage the effects of their disease,” said MS Society’s Saskatchewan Division communication manager Virginia Harper.

“With many new MS drugs coming on the market and offering a variety of ways they can be administered, we are happy the Ministry of Health continues to be responsive in the public listing of these new therapies.

“As always, we encourage all people living with MS to consult with their physician to find the course of treatment most appropriate for them.”

Saskatchewan is the first province among pan-Canadian Pricing Alliance members to provide coverage for this.

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