The province announced Monday it has expanded its eligibility for the drug Trikafta, an effective medication for cystic fibrosis patients.
Beginning Aug. 1, Trikafta will be available for CF patients aged six and older. It had previously only been available to those who were 12 and up.
"We are pleased to be able to expand coverage for this treatment for Saskatchewan children with cystic fibrosis," Health Minister Paul Merriman said in a release. "We know that Trikafta has been shown to improve the quality of life for patients, and this expanded coverage will help children with CF and their families for years to come."
Local CF volunteer Kasey McIntyre said the drug is wide reaching.
"It helps outreach to almost 90 per cent of people who have CF...they can actually take this and benefit from that. And that's the big game changer," she said.
The cost of Trikafta is approximately $300,000 per patient annually at list price, before confidential rebates, the province said.
"I know it is costly, or it would be costly to families. They wouldn't be able to this on their own without government help," McIntyre said. "In the long-run, if you're avoiding hospital stays, lung transplants, things like that...the benefits are endless."
McIntyre's son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was four weeks old.
"From our family, to anyone else that has been waiting for this...it's a wonderful day for them and really happy for them," McIntyre said.
CF patients or parents/guardians of children with CF who think they may benefit from therapy with Trikafta are encouraged to speak with their physician, the province said.
"Today's news will change the trajectory of the disease and the future for many children in Saskatchewan who live with cystic fibrosis," President and CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Kelly Grover said in the release.
According to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Registry, there are more than 4,300 CF patients in Canada and over 110 patients in Saskatchewan.