Better Pharmacare Coalition praises Health Minister Dix’s decision to cover drug Soliris

Adrian Dix
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

THE Better Pharmacare Coalition on Tuesday praised a decision by the BC Ministry of Health to cover the drug Soliris on a case-by-case basis for patients in BC. Soliris is the brand name for eculizumab, a medication used to treat a rare auto-immune disease called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). In making this decision, BC joins the list of several provinces that now provide coverage for this treatment.
“I am very pleased that [Health] Minister [Adrian] Dix and the leadership of the BC PharmaCare Program have chosen to provide access to coverage for this life-saving medication in BC,” said Dr. Ganive Bhinder, Executive Director of the Better Pharmacare Coalition, an organization that advocates for timely and appropriate coverage for prescription medications. “We know that there are enormous cost pressures in health, but the minister has demonstrated an openness, and a willingness to listen to patients and we applaud the approach the ministry has taken in this case.”
aHUS Canada, a non-profit organization that supports patients and families affected by aHUS, is a member of the Better Pharmacare Coalition. Earlier this month, the Better Pharmacare Coalition held an advocacy day in Victoria and met with MLAs along with several patients and caregivers from their member organizations.
“We were impressed with the responsiveness of all the MLAs that took the time to meet with us on our recent day in Victoria,” added Dr. Bhinder. “We feel this decision is a positive first step toward addressing some significant challenges being faced by patients in BC as they live with and seek treatment for debilitating diseases.”
The Better Pharmacare Coalition consists of 23 national and provincial not-for-profit organizations and registered health charities that, in turn, represent more than three million patients and their caregivers in BC. Since 1997, the Better Pharmacare Coalition has been effectively advocating for appropriate and timely coverage to evidence-based prescription medications through the BC PharmaCare program.