The ovarian cancer drug, olaparib, or Lynparza as it is known by the brand name, has been recommended to be included in the provinces’ drug formulary and therefore paid for.
pCODR, the national drug review panel, approved the second submission at the end of August.
The drug is for patients battling a third round of the disease and is one of the only effective treatment options for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer.
“This is a huge step having this drug available for ovarian cancer patients in Canada,” said Judy Fielden, a patient who has fought for access to the drug. “I think it will add to people’s lives certainly and their quality of life.”
“I think it will add to people’s lives certainly and their quality of life.”
Lynparza is expensive, costing up to $9,000 a month. The price provinces will pay is still being negotiated.
The recommendation for reimbursement is contingent on a lower price being negotiated, though that negotiation is often the next step in the path toward coverage.
Fielden is hopeful for the future, given everything she has been through. She has just finished chemotherapy for her second bout with the disease.
Statistics show, within five years of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one in two women will have died, and 85 per cent of them will see a recurrence.
September is Ovarian Cancer Month and Sunday saw the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope, a national event that raises thousands for treatment and research for the disease.
“I am absolutely thrilled this is approved, it is time, and I am pleased. It’s hope,” Fielden added.