Vertex's Cystic Fibrosis Medicine to Be Subsidized in Australia

(Bloomberg) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s cystic fibrosis medicine Orkambi will be subsidized by the Australian government from next month.

The medicine will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from Oct. 1 for all patients over the age of six who have the most common form of cystic fibrosis, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement Sunday.

“This will provide over 1,200 Australian patients, and their families, with a longer and better life,” Morrison said, adding Vertex had agreed to provide “compassionate free access” until the medicine is listed.

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and can limit the ability to breathe. Orkambi can cost patients up to A$250,000 ($180,000) a year, according to the statement.

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