February 1, 2016
Ontario Drug Benefit Program
Trillium Drug Program
PO Box 337, Station D
Etobicoke, On M9A 4X3
Re: Drug Benefits Stelco Retiree file number RA-599-8562-15
We are retirees of US Steel/Stelco. Recently we have applied for and been accepted into the Trillium Drug Program. Unfortunately two of the drugs we desperately require are not covered by Trillium. We have sent a section 8 as filled in by our Doctor (Specialist) and the application has been denied. I did not receive a copy of this letter so I am not sure why exactly. These two drugs were 100 percent covered by Green Shield for several years. If the reason is that other drugs are available, that is not the case.
I have been diabetic for over 16 years. I have tried many drugs and have plenty of knowledge about what works for me and what doesn’t. I have always seen a diabetic specialist as well as my GP. The drugs in question are Victoza for me, and Victoza and Glumetza for Mark my husband (Stelco Retiree)
Both Mark and I have had significant improvements in our health in the past two years due to Victoza. This injection has improved my A1C levels by amazing points. Two years ago my A1C was 11.7, then every 6 months test show 9.5, then 8.6, and now I am holding at 7.2 in the world of diabetics this is amazing and my Doctor is extremely pleased. I have never had a drug work like this and I know there is nothing else I can take to produce the same results. I have tried many drugs over many years and either there are allergic reactions or they didn’t show any improvements. These facts can all be checked with my Doctor if need be. Mark has had the similar results. As for the Glumetza drug, the only alternative to this drug is Metformin and Mark cannot tolerate this drug, he has severe diarrhea and couldn’t leave the house using it. Glumetza is the only alternative drug to Metformin and is required by Mark to live a healthy life.
Bottom line is we need these two drugs to be covered. The undue hardship is adding stress and health issues daily knowing we cannot afford these drugs ourselves. These were approved and 100% covered under our Green Shield Benefits until the Government decided to abolish our rights to our coverage.
Even the deductable we have to pay for Trillium is money we have to find from somewhere else.
Victoza cannot be stopped cold, as of next week we will not have the financial ability to get this drug. When we started taking Victoza there was several months that the side effects made us ill it would be terrible to have to start over and go through that again. For us to stop and possibly start again will be stress on our bodies not to mention health risks possibly causing other issues such as heart or digestive issues. I suffer from Neuropathy, nerve damage due to diabetes, if my sugar does not maintain as it does now there is the chance I could loose the ability to walk.
I wish to be alive to see my Grandchildren grow up. Taking these drugs from us will no doubt shorten our life and cause us undue hardship.
It is not right that Mark worked all his life for his benefits and then have them taken away by a pen stroke. The Government who allowed this, must now stand up for the needs and the drugs for honest tax paying hard working Canadian Citizens.
I am all for helping the needy and the refugees but when it is our turn to be helped.
I am pleading with you today to review our request for these two drugs and to do the right thing by us and not cause us undo health issues and stress.
I am appealing also to my Government for help with this matter, at the Day of Action in Hamilton on Saturday I spoke to many representatives and I am “cc” ing this letter to them as well as other Government heads, to ask them for their help.
Stelco Retiree and Spouse
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Tony Mclaughlin Local 1005
Scott Duvall MP
Andrea Horwath MP
Paul Miller Mpp
Monique Taylor Mpp
Bob Bratina MP