In late November, Parkinson Society British Columbia (PSBC) began ramping up its campaign for the funding of DUODOPA through BC PharmaCare. Today, the Ministry of Health has announced that it will be working with the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre to identify and prioritize patients for coverage of the therapy (read the press release).
"This is an enormous victory for the Parkinson's community of British Columbia," says Jean Blake, CEO of Parkinson Society British Columbia. "We would like to thank those who brought the issue to the attention of their MLAs, signed our petition and wrote letters to government officials. Above all, we would like to thank the tireless efforts and courage of those who participated in our advocacy videos and agreed to act as spokespersons with the media."
Although this is a big win for the Parkinson's community, there is still much to be done to improve the lives of the 13,300 British Columbians living with Parkinson's disease. Following the election in May, the Society plans to share their Four Point Plan with government officials. The plan involves developing a provincial Parkinson's disease strategy, adding specialized staff to existing Parkinson's disease programs, funding Parkinson's-specific training for health professionals and expanding the deep brain stimulation program.
Those who are interested in learning more about or supporting the Society's advocacy efforts are asked to contact Jean Blake, CEO of Parkinson Society British Columbia by visiting www.parkinson.bc.ca/advocacy.
Thank you all for your support,
Chief Executive Officer
Parkinson Society British Columbia