Jersey follows UK with cystic fibrosis drugs deal

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Orkambi packageImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
The three drugs target the genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis

Three cystic fibrosis drugs will be available to Jersey residents under an agreement between the island's government and the manufacturer Vertex.

A government spokesman said the deal was similar to the one secured by NHS England in October.

He said Jersey clinicians will be able to prescribe Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco "within the next few weeks".

The drugs will only be prescribed by hospital specialists and dispensed by the hospital pharmacy.

Cystic fibrosis can cause fatal lung damage with only about half of those with it living to the age of 32.

'Wonderful news'

Conventional treatments have targeted the symptoms while these drugs target the genetic mutation to improve lung function and reduce breathing difficulties.

Kalydeco can be used from one years old, Orkambi from two years and Symkevi is restricted to those over 12 years old.

Health Minister Richard Renouf said: "It is absolutely wonderful news that islanders with cystic fibrosis will now be able to be treated by these drugs.

"These drugs will improve their lives and also means that Jersey is inline with the UK."

The States of Guernsey has also reached a deal with Vertex for the supply of Orkambi and Symkevi.

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