Noel Coonan TD has welcomed the announcement that Kalydeco, a new innovative medicine for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) in patients who have the G551D mutation, will be made available for patients in Ireland from 1st March next. Deputy Coonan had been lobbying Minister James Reilly on this topic on behalf of County Tipperary constituents.
As with all new drugs, Kalydeco was assessed by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) in January 2013. The assessment acknowledged the benefits of the drug including significant improvements in lung function, increased body weight, improvement in patients’ quality of life and a 55% reduction in pulmonary exacerbations.
The NCPE recommendation led to follow-up discussions between the HSE Corporate Pharmaceutical Unit and the Company, Vertex Pharmaceuticals. These discussions provided a mechanism where the drug could be made available to patients whilst at the same time reducing significantly the budget impact of the drug. They were considered by the HSE Drugs Group and a positive recommendation was made supporting the provision of Kalydeco for Irish CF patients.
“Patients, the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and clinicians were very anxious that a decision be made as soon as possible and I am pleased that my Fine Gael colleague has progressed with the introduction of Kalydeco,” concluded Deputy Coonan.