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N.S. father says drug-pricing ‘chess game’ cost his daughter her life

Chantelle Lindsay takes part in her friend Kayla McNutt's wedding in this handout photo. The father of a Nova Scotia woman with cystic fibrosis says the Canadian government's "chess game" with the pharmaceutical industry cost his daughter her life.
Chantelle Lindsay takes part in her friend Kayla McNutt's wedding in this handout photo. The father of a Nova Scotia woman with cystic fibrosis says the Canadian government's "chess game" with the pharmaceutical industry cost his daughter her life. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Trevor Allen Photography

The father of a Nova Scotia woman who died after a battle with cystic fibrosis says the Canadian government’s “chess game” with the pharmaceutical industry cost his daughter her life.

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A memorial service will be held in Truro on Wednesday for 23-year-old Chantelle Lindsay, who was unable to access a new therapy for the genetic disease.

Mark Lindsay says he promised his daughter he would continue the fight to make the “life-saving” drug Trikafta, which experts say could treat 90 per cent of patients with cystic fibrosis, available in Canada.

Pickering woman with Cystic Fibrosis approved for miracle drug
Pickering woman with Cystic Fibrosis approved for miracle drug

Health Canada says the drug’s manufacturer, Vertex, hasn’t submitted Trikafta for approval for use in Canada, and it can’t force the company to do so.

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A Vertex spokeswoman says the company can’t comment on products that haven’t been authorized in Canada, but raised concerns that the federal government’s recent drug-pricing reforms could limit access to treatments for rare diseases.

READ MORE: Cystic fibrosis is still the No. 1 fatal genetic disease for Canadian kids – here’s why

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, an arms-length agency tasked with protecting consumers from excessive drug costs, says it’s considering “significant changes” to the draft guidelines in response to feedback from stakeholders, including patient advocates.