Revolutionary medicines for CF patients added to PBS

November 14, 2019 BY

THE federal government has announced “life-changing” medicines will soon be available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to help support the thousands of Australians living with cystic fibrosis.

From December 1, Symdeko will be listed on the PBS for cystic fibrosis patients over the age of 12.

The current listing of Orkambi will also be expanded for children aged between two and five to allow for earlier access to the medication.

Both changes are estimated to save families up to $250,000 a year, according to Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

“People might otherwise pay up to $250,000 a year for Symdeko, or for Orkambi, but with the government’s investment they will now only pay a maximum of $40.30 per script, with concessional people paying just $6.50,” he said.

He also said the new and amended listings were “expected to provide new or improved treatment options for over 1400 patients”.

One in 2,500 babies are born with cystic fibrosis in Australia. The condition primarily affects the lungs, digestive system and reproductive system.

Research projects that aim to find a cure for the genetic disorder are growing across Australia, with the Cure4CF foundation raising $800,000 as stated in its 2018-19 Annual Impact Report.

Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson welcomed the announcement and claimed it was “another example” of the Morrison Government’s commitment to saving and protecting lives.

“The average life expectancy for Australians with cystic fibrosis is 38, still less than half that of the average Australian.

“This is why it is so important to provide access to new medicines that can extend the lives of people with cystic fibrosis.”