• Hannah Phillips

Landmark Cystic Fibrosis Medicine Listed


On Sunday Prime Minister Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Morrison/McCormack Government will subsidise a life-changing cystic fibrosis medicine which significantly extends the lives of patients while saving families up to a quarter of a million dollars a year.


Orkambi® will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 October 2018 for all patients over the age of 6 years who have the most the most common form of cystic fibrosis - two copies of the f508del mutation in the CFTR gene.

This will provide over 1,200 Australian patients, and their families, with a longer and better life.

They also announced, that from Sunday all eligible patients can access the medicine immediately with Vertex agreeing to our request to provide compassionate free access until the medicine is listed on the on the PBS on 1 October.

Patients would otherwise pay up to $250,000 a year for Orkambi but will now only pay a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients paying just $6.40.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. A defective gene causes a thick, sticky build- up of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.

Orkambi has been shown to slow the rate of decline in lung function and reduce the number of infections in people with cystic fibrosis.

The PBAC is independent of Government by law and in practice. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from PBAC.


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