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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Cystic fibrosis community celebrates PBS listing of Trikafta for younger children

Health Industry Hub | April 6, 2023 |

Pharma News: 500 Aussie kids with cystic fibrosis will have access to a life changing medicine from 1st May 2023.

This morning Mark Butler MP, Federal Health Minister, will announce the extension of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) reimbursement for Vertex’s Trikafta (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor) to include 6 – 11 year old children, reducing the cost to parents from nearly $22,000 per month to $30 a script.

The groundbreaking medication was added to the PBS in April last year, but only for those 12 years and over.

Interestingly, it is a first for our nation’s medical history for New Zealand to make this treatment available before Australia on 1 April.

Jo Armstrong, CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Australia, spoke at the recent launch event for the newly established Parliamentary Friends of Cystic Fibrosis in Canberra. Chairs Dr Mike Freelander MP, Dr Monique Ryan MP, and Bridget Archer MP established the group.

Ms Armstrong said “It was deeply encouraging by the number of MPs who attended the launch event and
showed considerable concern for the people in their electorates living with CF. There were various conversations about the need for therapies for all people in the CF community and those who do not respond to modulator therapies or who are not yet eligible for them.”

Sabrina Barbic, Senior Country Manager, Vertex Pharmaceuticals ANZ, said “We are delighted the Australian Government has recognised the value of Trikafta and the need for access for these young patients in Australia. We acknowledge the unwavering work of the CF clinical and patient communities and the support they provide for children living with CF and their families.

“Scientists at Vertex have spent the last twenty years discovering and developing medicines that treat the underlying cause of CF and our medicines today have the ability to treat up to 90% of people living with the disease. But we won’t stop there – we are committed to finding a treatment for every person with CF through continued investment in research and development.”

The upcoming July PBAC agenda includes Vertex’s Orkambi (lumacaftor/Ivacaftor) for 1 and 2 year old children. CFA is “hoping there is a positive recommendation in due course”.

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