Cystic fibrosis drug wins PBS approval

Ivacaftor, which costs up to $380k, will be listed for babies aged 12-24 months

By AAP

 

The price of an expensive drug used to treat cystic fibrosis will be dramatically reduced for the parents of babies suffering the disease.

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced on Sunday that ivacaftor, which costs up to $380,000, will be listed on the PBS for babies aged 12-24 months.

“Families will be able to access this medicine and will pay up to $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card,” Mr Hunt told the Sunday Tasmanian.

Early intervention with the drug raises the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis.

At present, about 280 Australians aged two and over use ivacaftor (Kalydeco).

“For these babies to now have access to it from the age of 12 months old is just remarkable,” Cystic Fibrosis Australia chief executive Nettie Burke said, calling it “life-changing”.

“Their young lungs will be so much more healthy as they go through their life.

“They’ll have a longer life and a better life.”

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