News National Huge boost for cystic fibrosis sufferers as subsidies slash cost of vital drug
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Huge boost for cystic fibrosis sufferers as subsidies slash cost of vital drug

Symdeko helps extend the lives of cystic fibrosis victims. Photo: Symdeko
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There is still no cure, but more Australians with cystic fibrosis will now save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, thanks to new federal government subsidies.

Instead of paying up to $250,000 per year for the medications, cystic fibrosis sufferers and their families can expect to pay a maximum of $40.30 per script, or $6.50 on concession.

The medicine, Symdeko, will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from December 1, 2019, for cystic fibrosis patients over 12 who have specific gene mutations, a statement from Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday.

“This is expected to provide new or improved treatment options for over 1400 patients,” it said.

Another medication, Orkambi, is currently listed but will now become available on the PBS to younger children aged two to five.

Patients can access the drugs immediately after the manufacturer agreed to a government request for early access, Mr Hunt’s statement said.

One in 2500 babies are born in Australia with cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes repeated lung infections and gradually limits the ability to breathe.

-with AAP