Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatoon Children with Rare Disease to Have Costly Drug Covered by Province

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Saskatoon Children with Rare Disease to Have Costly Drug Covered by Province

Article excerpt

Children with rare disease to have drug covered

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REGINA - The Saskatchewan government says it will pay for an unproven drug for three siblings who have a rare and often fatal blood disease.

Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the decision to cover the cost of Vimizim for the Akhter children came after additional review and consultation.

The three children, aged eight, 10 and 12, have Morquio syndrome, which is characterized by skeletal defects such as stunted growth, deformity of the spine and chest, short neck and loose and enlarged joints.

Duncan says the province will cover the cost of the drug for one year to assess its effectiveness.

The drug, which costs $500,000 per child per year, is not a cure, although studies indicate it is effective in slowing down the disease in children under five. …

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