New Brunswick is the latest Canadian province to establish a specialized drug plan to fund high cost drugs for certain rare diseases. Starting August 1,2014, the planwill begin accepting applications to cover the cost of five drugs for the following specific rare diseases:
- Aldurazyme for the treatment of Hurler and Hurler-Scheie forms of Mucopolysaccharidosis I
- Elaprase for the treatment of Hunter Syndrome
- Ilaris for the treatment of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome
- Myozyme for the treatment of Pompe disease
- Zavesca for the treatment of Niemann Pick Type C
This plan will be delivered through a partnership with Ontario’s Drugs for Rare Diseases Framework, and the plan is estimated to cost the Government of New Brunswick between $1 million and $4 million annually depending on usage.
“The cost of drugs to treat rare diseases can sometimes reach a million dollars per year per patient, and often, due to the rarity of the conditions, demonstrating a drug’s efficacy through clinical trials is difficult,” said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. “These factors make it unlikely that these drugs would be covered under most drug plans. I am pleased that our government was able to bring forward this plan which will help alleviate the financial burden of those with these rare diseases.”
For more information on the new drug plan, please see the New Brunswick news release.