NHS England has today announced that they have agreed to fund the precision medicines Orkambi and Symkevi for people with cystic fibrosis (CF). These medicines have been shown to slow the decline in lung function and reduce hospital admissions. There are 8,200 children and adults with cystic fibrosis living in England and approximately 4,400 will potentially benefit from these drugs. The news that NHS England has reached a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a significant breakthrough.
Commenting on the news, the directors of the Trust’s paediatric (Dr Ian Balfour-Lynn) and adult (Dr Susan Madge) cystic fibrosis centres, said: “Today’s announcement from NHS England is a breakthrough and will undoubtedly make a significant difference to many of our patients. While this news is very much welcomed it is quite sudden, and we will work hard over the coming weeks to determine how we can provide these medicines to eligible patients as soon as possible, once the medicines have become available.”
It has also been announced that that the new triple therapy, Trikafta, which 90 per cent of people with cystic fibrosis could benefit from, may be licensed in Europe in the coming year.
Royal Brompton Hospital’s paediatric and adult CF centres are one of the largest in Europe and treat almost 1000 people with CF each year.