SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
LABOR WELCOMES ORKAMBI LISTING
Labor welcomes the news that the life-changing cystic fibrosis medicine Orkambi will finally be subsidised, after a three-year fight.
This is a big day for more than 1000 sufferers of this terrible, deadly disease. They have been forced to wait far too long for affordable access to Orkambi as the drug manufacturers negotiated with the federal regulators.
After three false starts, the independent experts of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) finally approved the drug for subsidy earlier this month.
We commend the Government for moving swiftly to list it on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from October 1.
Labor wrote to the Government last year to press the case for Orkambi’s inclusion on the PBS and we’re pleased it has finally happened.
We also commend the drug maker Vertex for announcing it will provide immediate access to Orkambi ahead of the official listing.
But most of all we commend the patient groups who fought so hard to make this a reality. Their advocacy has made a real difference.
The cost of Orkambi is currently more than $250,000 per person per year – putting it out of the reach of most patients.
This is a perfect example of why the PBS is so important.
This Government has been delaying PBS listings by months and sometimes even years. In their August listing round, one drug had been waiting 13 months for subsidy.
We’re pleased Orkambi has not suffered a similar fate.
SUNDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2018