Canadian Association for Porphyria

Our Mission

The mission of the Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie is:
  • to deliver evidence-based information and support to patients with porphyria, their families, health care providers and the general public across Canada
  • to achieve standards and evidence-based comprehensive care for all people with porphyria throughout their lifespans.

News and Updates


Travel Grant 2018: Summer Camp for a Canadian child with

Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP)

The Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie (CAP/ACP) is pleased to announce a Call for Applications for a Travel Grant for a child with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) to attend a camp for children with EPP in the summer, 2018. The following camps will be considered (depending upon availability): Camp Discovery, Texas, USA; Camp Sundown, New York, USA; or Mini-Camp (bilingual - French/English), Bordeaux, France.

Value: Maximum CAD$ 2500

Number of Awards: 1 grant

Deadline for Application: April 15, 2018


  • The applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

  • The applicant or their family member must be a member of CAP/ACP.

  • The applicant must have EPP (documentation from a physician is required).

  • The applicant must meet the age restrictions of the camp (between the ages of 6 and 17 years of age).

Application Requirements:

  • The maximum amount of the grant can be used to cover the following: For the child - camp registration and economy travel to and from the camp. If the child is accompanied by a family member, the grant can be used to cover their travel costs.

  • The recipient will be required to submit receipts for travel expenses.

  • The recipient must provide documentation of attending the camp.

  • The recipient will return all awarded grant monies to CAP/ACP should they not attend the camp.

Application Process:

  1. Please let us know as soon as possible that you are interested by replying to:

  2. The applicant will be contacted to arrange a telephone call to discuss the possible camps.

  3. If awarded the travel grant, the CAP/ACP will work with the applicant to complete the camp registration.

 Presentation is here!

CAP/ACP presented to the 

Canadian Blood Services Board Meeting 

December 7, 2017

The Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie (CAP) continues to advocate to improve care for Canadians with porphyria. Currently, patients with porphyria who need to access the only treatment available are having difficulty accessing it (Access to Heme Treatment in Canada 2016). As the treatment is a blood product we supported the application of Recordati in April, 2017 requesting that Canadian Blood Services (CBS) distribute this treatment. This request was refused in June, 2017 by the Provincial Territorial Blood Liaison Committee (PTBLC). 

The CAP/ACP has presented at the open board meeting of the CBS on June 22, 2017 and December 7, 2017.

Silvia Marchesin, on behalf of CAP presented our concerns and suggestions for a future collaborative process to the open board meeting of the CBS Board of Directors on June 22nd. Since this presentation, the proposal has been discussed by the PTBLC again in October and November but there has been no further decision. 

In order to continue advocating that CBS carry this blood product for Canadian patients with porphyria, Wendy Sauvé (President, CAP) presented to the CBS Open Board Meeting in Ottawa on December 7th, 2017. Her presentation is here: December 2017 Presentation to CBS Board.pptx (2).pdf

The 2017 Report Card on Canada's Blood System refers to how "short‐sighted financial considerations have prevented access to a number of blood and plasma‐derived therapies for certain rare conditions. For example: Normosang and Panhematin, red cell‐derived products to treat porphyria, are not distributed via CBS, making access uneven and often impossible. The product is routinely available in Quebec through Héma‐Québec." 

Canadian Hemophilia Society, 2017

The CAP/ACP Survey

Access to Heme Treatment in Canada 2016

Thank you to those who participated in the survey: Access to Heme Treatment in Canada. In order to better understand treatment for porphyria, the Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie (CAP/ACP) asked Canadians who have been diagnosed with acute porphyria  - Acute Intermittent Porphyria (AIP), Variegate Porphyria (VP), or Hereditary Coproporphyria (HCP) to take 5 - 10 minutes to complete a survey. We received 39 responses which clearly demonstrated that there is unequal access to Normosang and/or Panhematin treatment across Canada. 

For those diagnosed with an acute porphyria and told by a physician that they should receive Normosang and/or Panhematin only 50% (8 of 16 patients) were able to access treatment. Although some patients receive timely treatment, half of them suffer through attacks, receiving only supportive care (medication for nausea and pain) in Emergency or as an inpatient as they are not able to receive Normosang and/or Panhematin treatment.

The CAP/ACP asserts that patients with acute porphyria should have access to Normosang and/or Panhematin treatment, as needed, regardless of where they live in Canada. We are advocating for a future where these blood products will be distributed efficiently and equitably, and by so doing, greatly improve the lives of those suffering from acute hepatic porphyria.

Click here for a copy: Access to Heme Treatment in Canada 2016 

The International Congress on Porphyrins and Porphyrias (ICPP) 2017 was held in Bordeaux, France from June 25th to 28th, 2017. Three board members from the Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie attended the congress. We will be sharing new information from the congress soon.


International Porphyria Patient Network


How Can I Help?

"Patient self-organization is important for both mitigating uncertainty and driving progress toward improved treatments and outcomes for rare diseases."

Sara D. Khangura, et al., July 2015

Medical Disclaimer

Care has been taken to ensure that the information on this website is accurate at the time of publication. This information is, however, intended for general guidance only. The Canadian Association for Porphyria/Association Canadienne de Porphyrie disclaims for itself and for the author of this information, all responsibility for any mis-statements or for consequences of actions taken by any person while acting on information contained herein. Physicians and patients must make their own decisions according to the individual circumstances of each case.

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