More Children Now Eligible for Cystic Fibrosis Drug

Effective today, July 18, the Province will pay for the cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta for children aged six to 11.

“This drug offers the hope of longer, healthier lives for many children with cystic fibrosis,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “That’s why we moved quickly to make it available to Nova Scotian children who need it.”

Health Canada approved the use of Trikafta to treat children between six and 11 on April 20. On July 6, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health recommended provinces provide coverage for the drug for children in this age group.

The agency’s July 6 recommendations also included the removal of some qualifying criteria for the drug to make it available to more patients with cystic fibrosis. Nova Scotia will also implement these recommendations. 

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that affects children and adults. It is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting children and young adults in Canada. Trikafta can be used to treat about 90 per cent of cystic fibrosis patients.

Nova Scotians with cystic fibrosis aged 12 and older have been eligible for provincially funded Trikafta since November 2021. 

Without this program in place, Trikafta could cost patients as much as $300,000 per year. 

“Today’s news will change the trajectory of the disease and the future for many children and adults in Nova Scotia who live with cystic fibrosis. Last year, Nova Scotia funded the drug for those 12 and older, and today has continued to recognize Trikafta’s extraordinary, transformative value by expanding coverage of Trikafta to include children ages six to 11 years old. We are pleased to see that the restrictive start criterion has also been removed, enabling more people to access the drug. We celebrate this news alongside our CF community in Nova Scotia, who has worked tirelessly for this day.”
     – Kelly Grover, President and CEO, Cystic Fibrosis Canada

“We are very grateful to have access to a new treatment option that is proving to be beneficial and potentially life changing to a large number of children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Great progress has been made in this field and hopefully in a near future we will have better treatment options for all cystic fibrosis patients.”
     – Dr. Dimas Mateos-Corral, Pediatric Respirologist, IWK Health

Quick Facts: 
— cystic fibrosis causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body, causing persistent lung infections and loss of lung function; there is no cure
— it is estimated that one in every 3,600 children born in Canada has cystic fibrosis; in Nova Scotia, an estimated 190 people have the disease
— patients can register for the provincial Cystic Fibrosis Program through their cystic fibrosis clinic at the IWK
— there are currently 15 children in Nova Scotia who could benefit from this new coverage

Additional Resources:
Mandate letter of the Minister of Health and Wellness:

More information about Nova Scotia’s pharmacare programs is available at:

Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies:

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