NEWS | 27.03.2022
Nick Cummins fronts successful Trikafta campaign in Australia Trikafta Added to PBS After Petition Exceeds 55,000 Signatures
Earlier this month, Nick Cummins appeared on Channel 10’s The Project to urge the Australian public to sign a petition that, if passed, would see Trikafta listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Trikafta, described by sufferers of cystic fibrosis (CF) as a ‘miracle drug’, has been credited with helping people with CF avoid lung transplants and live longer lives. Without it, the current life expectancy is currently 44 years.
Costing $300,000 per year, Trikafta has been virtually inaccessible for victims of CF in Australia, with most families having to incur debilitating debt to help their loved ones.
Last year Genevieve Handley, who has CF, launched a petition to have Trikafta added to the PBS which would allow full access for the 2,200 people currently in need of the drug and reduce the price dramatically.
Cummins’ appearance on The Project brought much-needed attention to the petition after having first hand experience with his brother and sister who both live with CF and need access to Trikafta.
Speaking in a live cross from Lismore during the heartbreaking flood disaster zone, Cummins described the difficulties of CF detailing that you experience every breath of your life like breathing through a straw.
“[Cystic Fibrosis is] like breathing through a straw – that is their every day and every breath” revealed Cummins during the live cross, who was situated in Lismore’s flood disaster zone at the time.
“You can imagine it’s a struggle…– you’re in hospital six months of the year. They’re incredible troopers and all that could be put to rest if we just get this [petition] across the line”
Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA) pushed for the Federal Government and drug manufacturer Vertex to come to an agreement for PBS listing before the next election.
The petition, sitting at 38,000 signatures before Nick’s appearance, saw a huge increase in the proceeding 24 hours, with 58,000 signatures by the end of the next day. 18 days later, it has now been announced that as of April 1 2022 Trikafta will be officially funded on the PBS.
With Trikafta publicly available to the Australian CF community, families are relieved of the detrimental costs that sat originally at $22,000 a month, now being $42.50 per script or $6.80 for concession card holders.