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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Is there an end in sight for government red tape on Trikafta for children with cystic fibrosis?

Health Industry Hub | March 28, 2023 |

Pharma News: There are 500 Aussie kids with cystic fibrosis waiting for the reimbursement of Trikafta, noting that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended it to be listed in November last year.

Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA) has been calling on the Health Minister, Mark Butler MP, “to do all that he can to accelerate the listing of Trikafta on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), without the delay and expedite this process. The Department of Health and Vertex must do the right thing by the CF community. Children living with CF cannot wait any longer.

“The crux of the dispute appears to be regarding metrics about uptake and compliance rates, which is the number of children who are likely to start treatment and those who will continue to use it. This is surprising given that there is significant data on this.”

“The government will expand the listing of the drug on the PBS for the treatment of cystic fibrosis in patients who are aged between six to eleven years as quickly as possible. The Department of Health and Aged Care is working with the company that produces that drug, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, to finalise all necessary listing requirements,” confirmed Senator Don Farrell, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate when asked yesterday by Anne Ruston, Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Jo Armstrong, CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Australia, said “Our neighbours in New Zealand are celebrating that Trikafta will be available for those eligible with CF aged 6 and older from April 1st, 2023. This is great news for New Zealand. However, it is unbelievable to think that two countries so close have such significant inequity of access to this critical medication.”

It would be a first our nation’s medical history for New Zealand to make a treatment available before Australia.

Ms Armstrong added “Our advocacy work will continue to push harder than ever before. We will continue to advocate for access to Trikafta for 6–11-year-olds and a range of other important matters for the CF community, including support and therapies for people who are not eligible for Trikafta. No one is forgotten.”

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