Friday 20 September 2019

New drug offers fresh hope to people with cystic fibrosis

Stock Image: PA
Stock Image: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

People suffering from cystic fibrosis, who have a particular genetic form of the condition, are to be offered fresh hope with a new drug.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has received EU market authorisation for the medicine Symkevi.

Under a deal with the HSE the medicine will now be available to suitable Irish people with cystic fibrosis. 

Health Minister Simon Harris said the decision “will result in Irish patients having access to this important drug.”

"I am delighted to see that a new treatment has been approved for Cystic Fibrosis patients in Ireland and their families.

"Over the next number of weeks the HSE will work with Vertex to ensure timely access to this new treatment for Irish patients.

"This is a really important development and a significant day for patients with cystic fibrosis."

Symkevi can help with the treatment of people with cystic fibrosis aged 12 and older who either have two copies of the F508demutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, or one copy of the F508del mutation and a copy of one of 14 mutations that result in residual CTFR activity.

 It is the first medicine in the EU to treat the CFTR protein defect in patients. 

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