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Life-changing news for cystic fibrosis sufferers

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Cystic fibrosis sufferers around Australia will now get access to life-changing medicine which can extend lives by decades.

The Morrison government has announced the breakthrough drug Orkambi will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 October 2018 for eligible patients.

“This medicine… aims to stop the deterioration and in some cases significantly increase lung capacity,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt tells Ray Hadley.

Ray has been a longterm campaigner and supporter for those with the chronic condition, which affects the lungs and digestive system, sentencing sufferers to a life expectancy of around 37-years.

“Greg, it would just absolutely tear you apart if you had not made the decision that you made, and congratulations for doing it,” says Ray.

“I may never be involved in anything more important in my professional life,” Mr Hunt tells Ray.

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Until recently the drug has been well out of reach of ordinary Australians, costing $250,000 a year for treatment.

Patients and their families can now expect to pay a maximum of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients paying just $6.40 under the PBS scheme.

“Most importantly it will be available as of today on compassionate access free of charge in the meantime for all of the 1,200 children and families that qualify,” Mr Hunt tells Ray.