I am a survivor of advanced melanoma: skin cancer which spread to my lymphatic system. I was able to receive eight powerful - and expensive - immunotherapy treatments which quite possibly saved my life. It never occurred to me that, should the disease come back, that I might not receive further treatment.
Provinces are clearly voting with their budgets, going slow and low on approvals and coverage of new therapies. Canada is not wrong to be prudent in taking our time to decide how, or if, a new drug needs to be covered -- a precautionary approach is just the smart way to go.
That is, indeed, an astoundingly expensive drug. It's bad enough that you have to deal with cancer, but these financial concerns must be adding to your stress. You can rest assured there are various programs to help Ontario residents who can't afford the price of their medications. And each regional cancer-treatment centre has specially-trained staff to guide patients and their families through the various application processes.
At an important conference in Chicago last June, over 25,000 doctors and researchers from around the world gathered to hear about several new breakthroughs in targeted therapies that will soon play a leading role in the fight against cancer.