It has been reported that the availability of the drug Orkambi has been extended to eligible children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) aged between six and 11 years of age.
Ireland now becomes one of the first countries in the European Union to provide access to the drug for children in this age category, which is said to be life-changing for CF patients and in particular, young children with CF, according to Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.
The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said he welcomed the extension of the availability of ORKAMBI to eligible children with Cystic Fibrosis, aged 6-11 years. This comes following EMA approval in January of this year. The 2017 agreement between the manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the HSE included the extension to other age groups, subject to market authorisation in Europe.
ORKAMBI was already available for children, but only to those aged 12 years and over with CF.
"The extension to the younger children became possible following EMA approval in January of this year. This quick turnaround between approval and availability was possible because we ensured the younger age group was included in the agreement with the company Vertex last year," Harris added.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of about 1,300 children and adults in Ireland.