More children in Saskatchewan living with cystic fibrosis (CF) are now eligible for Trikafta, a medication that improves lung function. Starting February 1, 2024, coverage of Trikafta will be available to CF patients two to five years of age who meet the medical criteria.

“We are pleased to expand coverage for this treatment for more Saskatchewan children with cystic fibrosis,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Trikafta has been shown to improve quality of life in patients living with CF, so this expanded coverage means more children with CF can benefit and lead healthier lives.”

Although there is no cure for CF, Trikafta works to correct the underlying cause of CF.

In December 2023, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health issued a recommendation that jurisdictions expand coverage of Trikafta for patients two to five years who meet certain medical criteria. Successful pricing negotiations have recently been completed through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

“Saskatchewan was one of the first provinces to fund Trikafta for both the six years and older and 12 years and older age groups, and today has continued to recognize the treatment’s transformative value by expanding coverage to include children ages two to five years old,” Cystic Fibrosis Canada President and CEO Kelly Grover said. “While not a cure, starting young children with cystic fibrosis on modulator therapy as early as possible could protect their health and prevent significant structural lung damage from occurring – we celebrate this news alongside our CF community in Saskatchewan, who has worked tirelessly for this day.”

In Saskatchewan, coverage of Trikafta for CF patients ages six to 12 came into effect in 2022, while coverage for patients ages 12 and older began in 2021. Approximately 90 people in Saskatchewan already benefit from Trikafta coverage. An estimated five more children are expected to become eligible in the first year with the expanded criteria to include ages two to five.

Patients with CF or parents/guardians of children with CF who think they may benefit from therapy with Trikafta are encouraged to speak with their physician.

Coverage is also available in Saskatchewan for two other CF medications which target specific genetic mutations of the disease: Orkambi and Kalydeco. Coverage of Orkambi was expanded in July 2021 for patients two years of age and older who meet certain medical criteria. Kalydeco has been listed on the Saskatchewan Formulary since 2014.

According to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Registry, there are more than 4,300 CF patients in Canada and approximately 125 patients in Saskatchewan.