Yarmouth Man Fights For Fair Cancer Drug Coverage For Everyone

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 12:16 PM

A Yarmouth man's promise to his daughter is fuelling debate and discussion about coverage for cancer drugs.

While radiation and chemotherapy treatments given to patients in hospital are covered, that is not the case for oral medications which can be taken at home.

Three years ago Derek Lesser made a trip to Halifax with his daughter Julia following tests in Yarmouth.

She was diagnosed with a form of leukemia.

He says a lot happened in about 5 minutes.

"Hearing the term cancer was hard but hearing that hearing the prognosis and hearing that she'll probably have a good life was really good. Then we got the news that because she didn't have personal health coverage, she would have to find ways to fund it."

It was at that moment he promised his daughter he would fight to make sure no other families had to face the same situation.

The cost of the drug Tasigna is about $48,000 a year.

Lesser is using his personal Facebook page to get the message out.

He says he's telling all the candidates running in the upcoming provincial election that if their party forms government, they would have the power to save lives.

The full interview with Derek Lesser will air this Sunday morning on the Y95 CJLS Weekender at 9:04.