Medicines to save South West cystic fibrosis patients up to $250,000

The Morrison Government will provide immediate access to life-changing medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to help support people with cystic fibrosis, saving them and their families up to $250,000 per year.
From 1 December 2019, the life-changing cystic fibrosis medicine Symdeko® will be listed on the PBS for patients with cystic fibrosis over the age of 12, who have specific gene mutations.
The current listing of Orkambi® will also be expanded for children aged 2-5 years of age, allowing earlier access to this life changing medicine.
Patients can gain access to Symdeko® and Orkambi® immediately, with the manufacturer agreeing to the Government’s request to provide early access, until the medicine is listed on the PBS on 1 December.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino welcomed the announcement, saying this is important to families in the South West. It is another example of the Morrison Government’s commitment to “saving lives and protecting lives.”
“The average life expectancy for Australians with cystic fibrosis is 38, still less than half that of the average Australian,” Mrs Marino said. “This is why it is so important to provide access to new medicines that can extend the lives of people with cystic fibrosis.”
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the new and amended listings were “expected to provide new or improved treatment options for over 1400 patients.”
“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,” Minister Hunt said.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended these medicines be listed on the PBS.
Since 2013, the Government has listed more than 2,200 new or amended items on the PBS.
This represents an average of around 30 listings per month – or one each day – at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.