DEPUTY Michael Lowry has welcomed the announcement that a new drug for the treatment of certain strain of Cystic Fibrosis is to be made available in Ireland by March 1. He explained that this drug was initially held up due to its high cost, but agreement has now been reached between the drug’s manufacturer and the HSE to allow this treatment to be made available here, within the budgets available to the HSE.
The Independent North Tipperary TD praised the move as a vital compromise to benefit the good of all Cystic Fibrosis patients in the State.
“Kalydeco targets the cause of CF for those with the G551D mutation, of whom there are approximately 120 suffers nationwide, all of whom are young people. Kayldeco is seen as the most positive breakthrough in the treatment of CF since the discovery of the CF gene in 1989 and has performed fantastically well in clinical trials.
“The prospect of this drug not being made available in Ireland due to its cost was a very real prospect and a cause of huge fear and concern for those suffering with this strain of CF.
“For some time I had been petitioning the Minister for Health on this matter and had publically called on the drugs company to engage with the HSE and to come to some compromise to allow all Irish patients to avail of this breakthrough treatment. The drug was initially to cost a staggering €234,804 per patient, per annum, a cost which the HSE simply could not shoulder. I am hugely pleased and would like to commend the company in question for engaging with the HSE and for agreeing to provide this drug at a more reasonable rate.”
“This announcement is a victory for CF patients and marks a huge step forward in the management of this disease. This drug will massively extend and improve the lives of the 120 Irish patients with this strain of CF. I am hugely pleased that common sense has prevailed and agreement has been reached to allow this drug to be provided in Ireland at a reasonable cost to the State,” he said.