MAPLE RIDGE – The MLA for Maple Ridge Mission, Marc Dalton, is welcoming an announcement by the provincial health ministry to support the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease with the drug Duodopa through PharmaCare.
Jean Blake, CEO of Parkinson Society BC calls the therapy a miracle, and says it has given people back their lives.
“People in this advanced stage of Parkinson’s experience extreme pain and suffer from sudden ‘off’ periods when their oral medications just don’t work,” said Blake. “They may fall, have difficulty breathing, swallowing and communicating. When they are ‘on’, they experience disabling writhing movements that prevent them from most normal activities.
“I’ve been working very hard for Chris Olsen and others who are suffering advanced Parkinson’s causing extreme motion night and day,” said Dalton. “I am very happy and hopeful for her that access to this drug therapy could represent a dramatic change in quality of life for both her and her husband Harold.”
“We would like to acknowledge Parkinson BC for carrying through with their vision and continuing to advocate for all of the people with Parkinson’s in BC,” said Olsen who struggles with the disease. “Doudopa will even out my highs and lows making life far more bearable. A special thank you to MLA Marc Dalton for persistently bringing forward the need for Doudopa to the health ministry.”
“We have heard MLA’s like Marc advocate on behalf of their constituents with Parkinson’s which deepened our resolve to find solutions” said Health Minister Terry Lake.
Duodopa is a gel-form combination of two medications, levodopa and carbidopa, administered directly to the small intestine through a surgically placed tube. Pharmacare also already covers the oral form of levodopa/carbidopa.
Due to the very high cost of this drug, the Ministry of Health has been in discussions with AbbVie, the manufacturer of Duodopa, to explore ways to make the product more affordable.
The Ministry of Health will be working with the Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre to identify and prioritize patients for coverage of Duodopa.
PHOTO: MLA Marc Dalton, Chris Olsen and husband Harold.
BC Government Caucus Communications