VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Imagine losing coverage of a drug that significantly improves your life. That’s the reality for one British Columbian living with cystic fibrosis.
University of Victoria student Lilia Zaharieva, 30, hopes her story will get our health minister to open negotiations and have the drug covered by the provincial insurer.
Zaharieva says the drug known as Orkambi has made a big difference to her life, until now.
“I was recently and unexpectedly dropped from coverage with my private insurance,” shares Zaharieva.
The drug makes her feel better and more comfortable.
“I have energy to start the day! I can walk between classes without losing breath, which was impossible before,” she explains, adding the drug also lets her plan ahead — something she didn’t think would happen.
One major problem is the provincial government doesn’t cover the drug, leaving her at the whim of private insurers.
She says she feels stuck and is hoping her story will catch the attention of BC Health Minister Adrian Dix.
“[I’m asking] that he reopens negotiations with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.”
Vertex is responsible for the medication.
According to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, this is one way the province can ensure British Columbians get the health care they need.
Zaharieva has less than 20 days of Orkambi dosages left.