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23.07.20

NHS Wales agree deal for cystic fibrosis drug treatment

Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) in Wales are set to receive access to a new ‘ground-breaking’ treatment on the NHS after an agreement was struck between NHS Wales and the drug’s manufacturer.

As many as nine in 10 people with CF could benefit from the three-drug combination, which was recently approved by European regulators. NHS England approved a deal for the drug last month.

The agreement was made through a letter of intent with NHS Wales to expand the reimbursement agreement for CF medicines to include the new treatment. Once finalised, it will mean the drug combination will be available on the NHS, in line with a recently announced agreement by NHS England and following a recommendation for approval by the European Medicines Agency’s human medicines committee.

READ MORE: NHS patients among first in Europe for new cystic fibrosis treatment

READ MORE: NHS England secures new deal for all three UK-licensed cystic fibrosis medicines

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething confirmed the key elements of an agreement had been reached and he was “very pleased” to announce the four-year deal for the drug treatment, which could help more than 400 people in Wales.

Cystic fibrosis can affect individuals differently but the symptoms are caused by a build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs. The treatment combines three drugs - ivacaftor, tezacaftor and elexacaftor - to tackle the underlying causes of the disease, by helping the lungs work effectively.

Two of these drugs are already available in the UK on the NHS under different brand names.

As per the restrictions of the European license, children under the age of 12 will not be able to access the new treatment.

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