Province to pay for new MS drug

Times-Herald Staff
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New medication is coming to Saskatchewan multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, the Ministry of Health announced Wednesday.

MS Walk

Beginning May 1, the province will provide coverage of Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) to treat adult MS patients with relapsing-remitting MS who meet certain criteria.

Quebec is the only other province that provides coverage of the drug. Saskatchewan did, however, lead the negotiations that recently resulted in a pricing agreement between the drug manufacturer and provinces and territories.

“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,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said in a press release. “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.”

Tecfidera was approved by Health Canada for use by MS patients last year.

“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,” said Virginia Harper, communications manager of MS Society’s Saskatchewan Division.

MS patients seeking more information about Tecfidera are asked to speak with their physicians, or call the Saskatchewan MS Drugs Program at 306-655-8400.

Further information can be viewed online at health.gov.sk.ca/special-support, or be calling 1-800-667-7581.

Organizations: MS Society, Health Canada

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Quebec

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