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Pharmac Announces Decision To Fund Trikafta

Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac has today confirmed the funding of elexacaftor with tezacaftor and ivacaftor (branded as Trikafta) for people with cystic fibrosis, aged 6 years and above, who meet certain eligibility criteria.

“We’re thrilled to announce that Trikafta will be funded and available from next month,” says Pharmac’s Director of Operations Lisa Williams.

“We initially received the application from Vertex in July 2021. This decision is a significant milestone. To have a medicine with this level of investment secured for our community is a big deal and we are grateful to everyone who has been a part of this process.”

“There was a large amount of feedback in response to consultation on our proposal to fund Trikafta in December. We want to thank everyone who made a submission. The feedback we heard, both during consultation and throughout our assessment process, has been key in aiding our understanding of the impact of cystic fibrosis on people, their whānau and communities, and on the health and disability system,” says Ms Williams.

“We acknowledge that this outcome today does not provide a new funded medicine for everyone within the cystic fibrosis community. Our work in this space does not stop at this decision. Consideration of wider access to ivacaftor, branded as Kalydeco, is already underway. We have also told the supplier, Vertex, that we would welcome a funding application for other medicines, such as tezacaftor with ivacaftor, branded as Symdeko.”

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Key themes raised in consultation feedback, and our responses to them, are available in our decision notification. Pharmac intends to work with health and disability stakeholders on the implementation of this decision to ensure people can access Trikafta.

“I want to acknowledge the time that many people have put into advocating for those living with cystic fibrosis and to those who have shared their own very personal stories with us. We have heard them all, and we know there will be a lot of people relieved to hear that we are funding Trikafta.”

“The announcements we have made today for Trikafta for cystic fibrosis, and for the two immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced non-small cell lung cancer take us to 39 new funding decisions this financial year (since 1 July 2022), covering 18 new treatments and widened access to 21 others. We also recently notified a decision to widen access to the influenza vaccine, to reduce the impact of influenza on high-risk populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce the impact on the health sector that continues to be under pressure managing COVID-19 cases,” concludes Ms Williams.

Trikafta will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 April 2023, subject to eligibility criteria.

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