Women living in Prince Edward Island (PEI) now have access to precision treatments for ovarian cancer, thanks to Ovarian Cancer Canada’s advocacy efforts.
As a direct result of a targeted advocacy push by Ovarian Cancer Canada, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Michele Beaton moved Motion 123, seconded by MLA Karla Bernard, urging government to increase access to ovarian cancer drugs, on November 23, 2022, where it would be passed unanimously. The following day, November 24, Ernie Hudson, PEI’s Minister of Health and Wellness stated, “I commit here today that as soon as possible, and I actually did have discussions this morning with staff to see if we could move this along as rapidly as possible, because it does need to happen.” As of December 28, 2022, PARP inhibitors (Lynparza (olaparib) and Zejula (niraparib)) were added to PEI’s drug formulary, meaning that women living with ovarian cancer across Canada, including Indigenous populations through the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program and Veterans, now have access to these drugs as a part of their personalized care.
Minister Jean-Yves Duclos; Tania Vrionis, CEO, Ovarian Cancer Canada; Minister Ernie Hudson
Recent scientific advances have led to targeted treatments for patients with the most common type of ovarian cancer. PARP inhibitors like Lynparza (olaparib) and Zejula (niraparib) are novel effective oral medications based on personalized/precision medicine. These drugs extend the time before a relapse, and some patients have experienced a long-term response up to several years, giving women more time with their families and loved ones, more time to pursue their goals – more time to live fuller, better lives.
Prior to these drugs being added to the provincial drug formulary, women living with ovarian cancer were faced with the decision to either move to a neighbouring province or simply receive the same chemotherapy treatment that was available to women in the 1970s.
Driven by the philosophy that women should have access to equitable care, no matter where they live in Canada, Ovarian Cancer Canada is working to ensure equitable access to the standard of care for those living with and affected by ovarian cancer across the country. Women living with ovarian cancer deserve the best possible care and treatment – regardless of where they live in Canada. As the only registered Canadian charity solely dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer, Ovarian Cancer Canada provides leadership in research, advocacy, and support. Through our advocacy efforts, we are paving the way for real change – today.
On behalf of Ovarian Cancer Canada and all women living with ovarian cancer in PEI, we thank Minister Ernie Hudson and the PEI Government for adding ovarian cancer drugs to the province’s drug formulary; Minister Jean-Yves Duclos Jean-Yves Duclos for including ovarian cancer drugs as part of the governments Improving Affordable Access to Prescription Drugs Initiative; Members of PEI’s Legislative Assembly, Michele Beaton and Karla Bernard for championing this cause to have ovarian cancer drugs made accessible to patients in PEI; our passionate advocate Della Sweet, and our volunteer committee members for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in Charlottetown and THE LADY BALL. Also, we thank our community of donors, community champions, and supporters who make this vital work possible.
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