Ted Arnott, MPP
Wellington – Halton Hills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2010
Progress, finally, in providing life-saving drug
(Queen’s Park) – Lucas Maciesza, 26, is now receiving the potentially life-saving medication he
needs. The Wellington County resident had to wait as his family, friends and community pushed the
Government of Ontario to cover the $500,000-a-year drug.
“I want to thank Rick Maciesza, Lucas’s father, for having the courage to speak out,” said
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott. Mr. Arnott also thanked his colleagues, PC Health Critic
Christine Elliott and former Health Minister Elizabeth Witmer, for their assistance and advice, as well
as the media for bringing attention to this life-or-death situation.
“We’re also very fortunate that so many health professionals spoke publicly about Lucas’s critical
need for this medication,” he added.
According to published reports, eight patients in Ontario require access to Soliris, the drug therapy
necessary to treat Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH)—an extremely rare blood
“We’re all very pleased that Lucas is finally receiving this medication, but this isn’t over,” Mr. Arnott
said. “It appears he may require it for the foreseeable future, and we need the Minister’s absolute
assurance that the province will cover the cost.”
The London Health Sciences Centre paid for the initial dose as Health Ministry officials are
reportedly working with the makers of Soliris to determine who will continue to cover that long-term
“The government needs to fix its broken policy when it comes to drug coverage,” said Mr. Arnott.
“What happened to Lucas makes it clear that Ontario needs a consistent policy—not one that
depends on where a patient happens to live, and whether a particular hospital is in a position to
cover the cost of medication.”
In response to Lucas’s situation, which Mr. Arnott learned about on Friday, November 19, he tracked
down Rick Maciesza, e-mailed the Minister of Health to urge her immediate intervention. He also
telephoned her senior staff and twice raised his case in the Legislature’s daily Question Period.
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