Tottenham mom hopeful with new drug approval for cystic fibrosis
TOTTENHAM, ONT. -- It's been a long road for Sasha Haughian, whose two sons live with cystic fibrosis (CF).
"I just never thought we would get this far," the Tottenham mom says after receiving news that Health Canada gave the green light to a life-saving new drug to treat CF, called Trikafta.
Both her boys, Andre, 11, and Joshua, 9, were diagnosed with CF, a genetic disease that has no cure and affects the digestive system and lungs.
CF is a progressive disease that can take a toll. Andre and Joshua live with a chronic cough that can keep them up nights.
Andre suffered a lung collapse and has permanent lung damage.
Haughian says she's hopeful with the prospect of a new drug.
"The bad days they're in the hospital, and I hope with these new drugs, those days are going to be few and far between."
For roughly two years, Haughian and families like hers have been fighting to get the drug and others like it approved.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada chief scientific officer Dr. John Wallenburg says getting a new drug approved is no easy task. "Sadly, it's a rare occasion when a drug moves this smoothly and quickly through the system, and it really is a credit, I think, to the cystic fibrosis community."
People 12 and older will become eligible to receive Trikafta. Two other medications are also in the process of becoming widely accessible, but there are still a couple of hurdles left to go.
"The premiers and the health ministers across the country, we really need them to go 'Yes, this drug is a priority' and to list it on their provincial formularies as soon as possible," Dr. Wallenburg adds.
"It's like a big weight lifted off our shoulders, probably similar to when people got the vaccine or knew the vaccine was coming because you can just start to plan your future," Haughian concludes.