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Alberta fourth province to expand access to SPINRAZA™ for patients impacted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

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For Immediate release – June 25, 2019
Toronto, Alberta

Alberta fourth province to expand access to SPINRAZA™ for patients impacted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Muscular Dystrophy Canada (MDC) commends the Government of Alberta for joining Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Ontario in expanding access to SPINRAZA™, a life-changing treatment for individuals impacted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

In Alberta, the following patients will now be eligible for reimbursement of SPINRAZA™, in addition to Type 1 patients:

  • patients who are pre-symptomatic with two or three copies of SMN2, or
  • have had disease duration of less than six months, two copies of SMN2, and symptom onset after the first week after birth and on or before seven months of age, or
  • are under the age of 18 with symptom onset after six months of age, regardless of the ability to walk.
  • Other patients who do not meet the expanded funding criteria may be considered in exceptional cases.

SMA causes major problems with walking, muscle strength, fine motor skills, and the basic physical functions of breathing, swallowing, and feeding.  SPINRAZA™ is a medication that has been described by patients as a “miracle”. Demonstrated improvements include stronger breathing and speech, increased strength and energy, and the ability to perform new actions such a rolling over and sitting or standing up without assistance.

This announcement follows closely on the heels of Ontario’s approval of expanded access, and comes after a concerted effort on the part of rare disease advocacy groups, patients and their families across the country to equalize access.

“We are excited to see the momentum building among our government partners across the country to increase access to treatments that improve the day to day lives of thousands of Canadians,” said Barbara Stead-Coyle, CEO, Muscular Dystrophy Canada. “We will continue working alongside our clients to increase the understanding of our community’s needs on the national stage, ensuring that all Canadians, regardless of geography, have equal access to treatment.”

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 ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY CANADA

Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s mission is to enhance the lives of those impacted 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 www.muscle.ca or call our toll-free number at 1-800-567-2873.

MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION:

Heather Rice
Heather.Rice@muscle.ca
902-440-3714

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