New Cystic Fibrosis medicine added to PBS

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the Morrison 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.

Mrs Marino said this will provide over 1,200 Australian patients, and their families, with a longer and better life.

“I’ve long been lobbying the Health Minister for Orkambi to be added to the PBS,” Mrs Marino said.

“I’m thrilled for those who are living with the condition, this is so important for young children to have access to the drug.

“The Morrison Government’s plan to keep our economy strong means we can guarantee the essential services Australians rely on, including subsidising such life-saving medicines.”

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.

Mrs Marino said since coming into Government, the Government has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising more than $9 billion worth of new medicines.

“Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts. We are now listing a new or amended medicine on the PBS on average every day of the year,” Mrs Marino said.