From 1 May 2023, children aged 6 to 11 with cystic fibrosis will have access to the medicine Trikafta® (elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor), through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The listing of Trikafta for this age group will be a game changer for children living with cystic fibrosis and their families.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease which causes mucus in the lungs (and other organs) to become thick and sticky. Over time, this results in persistent lung infections, limited ability to breathe and often, irreversible lung damage.
Families of eligible children aged 6 to 11 years will now be able to access Trikafta through the PBS for a maximum of $30 per script, or just $7.30 with a concession card.
This listing is expected to benefit over 500 children each year. Without subsidy, Trikafta could cost families more than $250,000 per year.
One in 2,500 babies in Australia are born with cystic fibrosis and there is no known cure.
According to Cystic Fibrosis Australia, the estimated median survival of a person with cystic fibrosis in Australia is 47 years. Now, treatments like Trikafta are likely to extend life expectancy and improve quality of life for people with cystic fibrosis.
Trikafta was first listed on the PBS for 12 years and over on 1 April 2022.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Extending Trikafta’s PBS listing to include children from 6 years is another landmark moment in the battle against cystic fibrosis.
“This treatment was far too expensive for most families to contemplate.
“Now, thanks to our world-leading PBS system, families with a diagnosis of CF can literally breathe easier.
“We know Trikafta changes lives and that’s why the Government moved as quickly as possible to make this treatment available for young Australians.
“Children will be able to live and play, and plan for long, happy lives, just like their friends who weren’t born with a faulty gene.
“I want to acknowledge all those Australians who have campaigned 'Yes to Trikafta' your advocacy has been heard loud and clear.”