Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Schizophrenia Society of Canada

June 22, 2009 09:00 ET

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada Recommends Complete Access to Treatment for All Canadians

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - June 22, 2009) - Mental illness can be a devastating illness for anyone. The symptoms of psychosis can confuse the mind, disorient perceptions, and unsettle important relationships with family and friends. But there is hope, schizophrenia and psychosis are treatable and recovery of quality of life is possible when people are able to find the right path to open up options for treatment, support and hope.

That is why the Schizophrenia Society of Canada ("SSC") advocates for, among other treatment options, full access to newer atypical antipsychotic medications. Provincial governments and provincial drug formulary bodies should not play the role of pharmacist. A doctor in consultation with their patient ought to be able to choose the most effective medication suitable to that patient.

The Schizophrenia Society of Canada would like to congratulate British Columbia on its recent decision to make Zeldox (ziprasidone hydrochloride) available to people with mental illness through its public drug formulary. B.C. joins Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador. Zeldox belongs to a group of medicine known as atypical antipsychotics and is the first new molecule to treat schizophrenia in Canada in over ten years. It was approved by Health Canada in 2008 for the treatment of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders and in 2009 for the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder.

While not the only solution, medications can foster recovery in mental illness. Medications are an important part of a person's recovery, it is one component of a holistic program that helps give hope and builds quality of life. Stigma and discrimination can be real barriers to quality of life. In a recent Quality of Life survey conducted by the SSC, Canadians living with mental illness felt discriminated against because treatment and support services are severely under funded in this country.

The SSC recommends and advocates for complete access to treatment and support for all Canadians with mental illness. Therefore, we encourage the provinces of Ontario and Prince Edward Island, the only two remaining provinces yet to make Zeldox available to people with mental illness, to join the rest of Canada.

Contact Information

  • Schizophrenia Society of Canada
    Chris Summerville
    Chief Executive Officer
    Office: (204) 786-1616
    Mobile: (204) 223-9158
    www.schizophrenia.ca