Pharmacare policy should put patients first


February 28th, 2018 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, Ontario


Pharmacare policy should put patients first


On behalf of the thousands of Canadians who are affected by neuromuscular disorders, Muscular Dystrophy Canada welcomes the federal government’s commitment to increase funding for medical research and study the introduction of a national Pharmacare program.

“New medications offer the best hope to Canadians who affected by neuromuscular disorders  like spinal Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA),” said Barbara Stead-Coyle, the CEO of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. “Government-funded research can lead to the development of effective new medications, and a compassionate national Pharmacare program can provide patients with access to those medications.’’

Ms. Stead-Coyle’s comments were made following the release of the Feb. 27 federal budget, in which Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced additional funding for research and an initiative to study the introduction of a Pharmacare program.

Muscular Dystrophy Canada has been urging federal and provincial governments to remove the barriers to access for SPINRAZA, a medication that has been proven effective in clinical trials involving patients suffering from SMA. This breakthrough medication, which extends and improves the lives of SMA sufferers, has been approved by both Health Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration.

“Provincial governments have yet to fund the use of SPINRAZA for SMA patients, to whom it offers their only hope. We call on the federal government to develop a national Pharmacare program under which SPINRAZA, and other so-called orphan medications, are accessible to those Canadians who desperately need help,” said Ms. Stead-Coyle.

Furthermore, Muscular Dystrophy Canada is delighted to see the increased federal support for fundamental research. This support, will provide jobs and stimulate the economy, setting the stage for improved prosperity and innovation in the future. We look forward to continuing dialogue with the federal government regarding a strong health research ecosystem in Canada.



About Muscular Dystrophy Canada

Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those affected with neuromuscular disorders by continually working to provide ongoing support and resources while relentlessly searching for a cure through well-funded research. To learn more about Muscular Dystrophy Canada, please visit or call our toll-free number at 1-866-MUSCLE-8 (1-866-687-2538). 

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Jesse Sharratt at Muscular Dystrophy Canada by phone at 437-998-8845 or by e-mail at

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