TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2016 /CNW/ – Twelve years after the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Health Ministers committed to developing a plan for rare disease drugs, patients are standing outside the site of the annual Health Ministers’ meeting in downtown Toronto asking, “When will you deliver on the promise?”
Back in 2005, dozens of families affected by rare diseases, demonstrated for two days outside the Health Ministers’ Annual Meeting pleading for access to life-saving therapies for two specific conditions. The Ministers agreed to fund the drugs and also to develop a national plan. They made good on the two drugs, and today every one of those patients at the demonstration is alive. But the national Drugs for Rare Diseases plan never materialized. And the fall-out has been devastating.
According to Durhane Wong-Rieger, President of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, “The lack of an access plan means that almost every time there is a new rare disease therapy, patients and families often send out pleas through Facebook and Twitter, appeal for support through newspaper and television, and lobby the politicians.” Because many conditions are severe and progressive, many patients deteriorate and some even die waiting for access to a drug that is already approved by Health Canada.
A disease is considered rare if it affects no more than 1 in 2,000 persons. But, because there are more than 7,000 rare diseases, altogether there are about 2.8 million Canadians with rare diseases, and 60% of them are children. About 40% will die before their sixth birthday.
Today, rare disease patients and caregivers are demanding that the federal government immediately implement the Orphan Drug Regulatory Framework. It has been 34 years since the USA and 17 years since the European Union passed their Orphan Drug Acts. Canada is the only developed country that does not have orphan drug legislation to support research, drug development, and clinical trials.
The Health Ministers have known about Canada’s Orphan Drug Regulatory Framework for three years. On Rare Disease Day (February 29th), all the Parliamentarians wore the yellow scarves symbolizing their support for rare diseases, so CORD is asking, “What is Federal Health Minister Philpott waiting for?” Canadian lives are literally at stake.
Rare disease patients, families, and friends are gathering outside the Health Ministers’ meeting at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, hoping to get answers to their questions.
For further information: Durhane Wong-Rieger, President & CEO, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders, Direct: (647) 801-5176, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA ALERT: Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders urges Ontario to implement Canada's first Rare Disease Strategy TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2017 /CNW/ - On International Rare Disease Day, patient representatives from the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD) will meet with John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and other MPPs to share their experiences of living with rare disorders.
March 30, 2017
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC
Date: March 30 - 31, 2017 Location: Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC REGISTER HERE Living Rare: With Research, Possibilities are Limitless With Patients, Anything Imaginable is Achievable! 2-Day Conference: March 30-31, 2017 OBJECTIVES Share experiences of living ... enhanced by a rare condition Connect with groups that improve rare living Create inspired and inspiring solutions within Canada’s Rare Disease Strategy Rare Disease Day 2017 UPDATED DRAFT AGENDA Through videos, testimonials, and facilitated discussions, we will provide an opportunity to get to know the people living with the rare conditions and their patient groups or organizations. Each of the four panels will be organized around one of the four core pillars of Canada’s Rare Disease strategy: diagnosis, expert care, community support, and access to therapy. The fifth pillar, research, will be integral to addressing issues identified in each of the other areas. REGISTER HERE Refund Policy: Cancellations received a minimum of 15 days prior to the event will receive a refund minus an administrative fee of $15.00. This fee covers the cost of processing the registration and refund. Cancellations received after the 15-day deadline and no-shows are non-refundable.