Where do the Liberals stand on access to rare disease treatments in New Brunswick? Just last year, Donald Arsenault (Liberal health critic and a current Minister in the Gallant Government) said that “that we can – and must – do better.”
These statements came as he criticized a new rare disease strategy the previous government was about to implement. At that time, he pushed for more access to treatments for patients, just like the access his government is denying Morgan today.
He’s right – the Liberals must do better.
We’ve had over 15,000 view our blog about Morgan in the past day and a half. I’ll be traveling to NB this week and hope to meet with decision makers in hopes that they will take steps to review their decision to deny Morgan the care he needs.
For the record, here is the entirety of Mr. Arsenault’s speech.
Statement by Liberal Opposition Health Critic Donald Arseneault
As countries around the world shine a necessary light on rare diseases today, in New Brunswick the discussion is timely.
On a global scale, we know that over 50 per cent of all rare diseases affect children. We also know that many of the people who suffer from rare diseases are never properly treated because symptoms are often misdiagnosed.
And, perhaps of most significance, because so much has yet to be learned about rare diseases in general, people who suffer from them frequently encounter difficulties accessing adequate care and, in many cases, securing financial support for that care.
In New Brunswick, a new prescription drug program will soon be in place. Unfortunately, the new plan will only cover drugs that are currently listed on the provincial formulary. This leaves a lot of people, including those suffering from rare diseases, without the support they so desperately need.
Rare Disease Day is a reminder that we can – and must – do better. We hope that New Brunswickers will join us in drawing further attention to this important cause.