VIDEO: Liberals Still Refuse to Fund Life-Saving Medication for 12 Year Old Girl
(April 29, 2014) Today, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson asked the Liberal government again why they are refusing to cover a life-saving medication, Kalydeco, for 12 year old Madi Vanstone and others with cystic fibrosis. Wilson takes issue with the Liberals handing out billions for various scandals and countless other new spending initiatives as indicated in leaked budget documents, yet nothing for a sick child.
“Premier, a few months ago, you ran television ads telling Ontarians how much you love to run. It’s obviously an important part of your life. Now try to imagine—what if you couldn’t run,” said Wilson. “Madi Vanstone, a 12-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, started out not being able to run and barely being able to walk ... But how much longer will she be able to run? The money Madi’s family and friends have fundraised is quickly depleting.”
The Liberal government referred the drug to the Pan Canadian Pricing Alliance for price negotiations over 15 months ago, but have made no further progress since that time. Wilson has raised the issue in the legislature on nine different occasions in the past two months. The Liberals claim that they have requested a meeting with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, but the company indicates that they have not been contacted.
“Premier, you and your health minister continue to tell us that you have to be cognizant of all taxpayers ... But when it came to the gas plant scandal, instead of waiting for the best deal by cancelling the Oakville plant after the election, you spent $1.1 billion of taxpayers’ money to save a couple of your colleagues’ seats,” said Wilson. “Now, ahead of a possible spring election, we see in leaked budget documents that you’re set to spend another $6 billion on various new spending projects while children like Madi suffer. It’s absolute nonsense.”
“It’s been 15 months. Madi and her mom are here today. This is a child, a human life. People are dying waiting for orphan drugs to be approved by your government. When will you do the right thing and fund this medication?” continued Wilson.
Madi Vanstone is one of 20 people in Ontario who require the medication Kalydeco to treat cystic fibrosis. Without the medication her prognosis is bleak. She will likely need a lung transplant by her mid-teens. Kalydeco is the only medication that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. Thanks to a community effort, Madi has been receiving the drug for the past seven months and is now symptom free.