8 August, 2013 mcfadyena

Editorial: Life-saving treatment a worthwhile investment

August 8, 2013 by 


What’s good for the goose, they say, is good for the gander.

That’s all fine and dandy for birds who fly south in the winter, but is what’s good for the Ontarian good for the Albertan? What about what’s good for the Quebecer?

When it comes to treatment for the life-threatening medical condition known as MPS VI, it certainly is.

This extremely rare condition — there are currently only nine cases reported in Canada, and 1,100 worldwide — came into the limelight earlier this week when we found out that a three-year-old girl from

St. Albert, Aleena Sadownyk, was diagnosed with MPS VI earlier this year and that her family is wrestling with the Alberta government to have the treatment that could save her life funded through health care programs.

The drug she needs has not been fully approved by Health Canada, meaning that the Alberta government is dragging its feet by conducting its own clinical review. But similar reviews have already been conducted by governments in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, where funding for MPS VI treatment is already in place, and there is very little chance Alberta is going to find anything different. So why not get the funding in place already? There is ample evidence to prove that it works and is a worthwhile investment, even at $300,000 to $1 million per year.

And kudos to St. Albert MLA Stephen Khan for speaking out on Tuesday and calling for the treatment to be funded sooner rather than later. It’s refreshing to hear an MLA remember that his first job is to represent and advocate for the people of his riding, rather than to simply toe the Progressive Conservative party line.

Every day that passes puts Aleena Sadownyk’s young life further in jeopardy. The least the Alberta government — and especially Health Minister Fred Horne — could do is stop dragging its feet and take action.

— GLENN COOK, St. Albert Leader

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