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'Life-changing' cystic fibrosis drug for children approved by Health Canada: charity

TORONTO — A drug considered the "single greatest innovation in the history of cystic fibrosis" has been approved in Canada for children aged six to 11. 

Cystic Fibrosis Canada says in a news release that Health Canada has approved Trikafta for kids with at least one CF gene mutation. 

The charity organization says the "life-changing" drug can treat up to 90 per cent of Canadians with cystic fibrosis and addresses the underlying causes of the disease instead of just managing the symptoms. 

Dr. John Wallenburg, the group's chief scientific officer, says that because cystic fibrosis is a progressive disease, children can accumulate irreversible lung damage between the ages of six and 20. 

The medication was approved for those 12 and older last year and the group is calling on provinces, territories and private insurers to fund Trikafta for those aged six and up. 

In 2020, before the drug was approved for use in Canada, it could cost patients in the United States as much as US$300,000 a year. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2022. 

The Canadian Press

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