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NHS England announced this week that patients in England will be some of the first people in Europe to benefit from a new “truly life-transforming” treatment for cystic fibrosis.
Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, revealed the landmark news that the ‘triple combination’ therapy produced by Vertex Pharmaceuticals will be available to English patients as soon as the licence is granted by the European Medicines Agency, due in the coming weeks.
Only eight months ago a previous deal was struck for Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco.
The triple combination therapy, known as Kaftrio in the UK and Trikafta in the USA, tackles the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis by helping the lungs work effectively.
Nine out of 10 patients with the disease – more than 7,000 people – are now set to benefit.
Dr Uta Hill, Clinical Lead for Cystic Fibrosis at Royal Papworth Hospital, described the news as ‘amazing’.
“We are overjoyed for our patients. We believe this will mark a game-changer for people with cystic fibrosis and dramatically improve their quality of life and prognosis.
“There will be some patients who may not yet be eligible for such treatments as they have rarer CFTR mutations, however there is ongoing research and clinical trials which will ensure that these patients will also benefit from therapies in the future.”
“This news couldn’t have come at a better time while our CF patients are shielding due to the coronavirus pandemic,” added Sam Henman, Lead CF Nurse.
“We are already seeing the amazing benefits that these modulator therapies are having on our patients’ general health and well-being.
“Please be patient with us while we work through the processes to enable us to get these treatments to you safely. Rest assured our work has already started.”
Royal Papworth Hospital is a regional centre for adults with cystic fibrosis, treating more than 350 people from the East of England and beyond.
Find out more about NHS England’s landmark deal for cystic fibrosis treatment.