SUR

Ministry drug decision is 'a historic day for cystic fibrosis sufferers in Spain'

Treatment with the 'life-changing' Kaftrio drug will be allowed on the National Health System as of 1 December 2021

RAQUEL MERINO

Spain’s National Health System (SNS), has reached an agreement with the pharmaceutical company Vertex, that will guarantee access to the drug Kaftrio for people affected by cystic fibrosis throughout Spain.

"The treatment will change the lives of many people", said the president of the Spanish Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Juan Da Silva, after the national Minister of Health Carolina Darias told him the news in person.

“It is a historic day for cystic fibrosis sufferers in our country. Access to the drug will mean a very significant number of people will have the opportunity to live their lives without the constant deterioration of their health caused by this disease,” said Juan Da Silva.

According to Ministry of Health estimates, more than 1,500 people with cystic fibrosis, will be able to benefit from the drug that will be available in the SNS as of 1 December of this year.

Degenerative disease

Kaftrio, whose active substances are ivacaftor, tezacaftor and elexacaftor, is intended for people with cystic fibrosis who are 12 years of age or older with at least one copy of the F508del mutation in the CFTR gene, regardless of their other mutation. The Spanish Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis estimates that more than 70 per cent of people with this disease in Spain will be elligible to receive the treatment that slows the deterioration produced by this degenerative disease - chronic and hereditary - that mainly affects the lungs and the digestive system.

Quality of life

"We have seen how the quality of life has changed for patients who have taken it," said Da Silva, who points out that the benefits will start to be noticed just a few hours after starting treatment. “Patients with advanced severe disease may improve enough to come off transplant lists. It is a treatment with results never seen before”, he says.

The treatment will benefit a large number of people with cystic fibrosis who, to date, could not benefit from the treatments already financed in the SNS, such as the drugs Kalydeco, Orkambi and Symkevi.

Approval

With the Spanish Ministry decision, Spain joins other countries such as France, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Luxembourg or Slovenia that already finance the treatment after the approval of the medicine by the European Medicines Agency.