As of December 1, 2021, people in Spain living with cystic fibrosis will be able to receive treatment, using the ‘life changing’ Kaftrio drug on the National Health System.
An agreement that guarantees access to the drug has been reached between Spain’s National Health System (SNS) and pharmaceutical company Vertex. This is great news for more than 1,500 people in Spain who suffer from the disorder, according to the Ministry of Health.
Speaking after hearing the news from Carolina Darias, the national Minister of Health, Juan Da Silva, the president of the Spanish Cystic Fibrosis Foundation said that "The treatment will change the lives of many people. 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.”
The move means that Spain will join other countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, all of which already finance the treatment after the drug was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Kaftrio contains active ingredients elexacaftor, ivacaftor and tezacaftor and has been designed for those over 12 years of age who suffer from the disorder and have at least one copy of F508del mutation in the CFTR gene. This is regardless of other mutations.
The Spanish Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis, says it estimates that more than 70% of people with the disorder in Spain will be eligible to receive the treatment. The drug is designed to help slow down the deterioration that is produced by this inherited, degenerative disease, that mostly affects the digestive system and lungs.
"We have seen how the quality of life has changed for patients who have taken it," claims Da Silva, who also pointed out that the sufferer will start to see the benefits, just a few hours after starting the treatment. “Patients with advanced severe disease may improve enough to come off transplant lists. It is a treatment with results never seen before,” he concluded.
This ‘life changing’ treatment will benefit a large number of people living with cystic fibrosis who, up until now, could not benefit from the treatments that are already financed in the SNS, drugs such as Kalydeco, Orkambi and Symkevi.