The Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, through the Interministerial Commission for Drug Prices, approved at its meeting on March 18 the authorization of the financing of medicines Orkambi and Symkevi, aimed at the treatment of cystic fibrosis. In this way an end to a struggle that began years ago by different associations of relatives of the sick and that had its first milestone in the Canary Islands, who committed in December of last year to finance the Orkambi and that began to be administered to fibrosis patients last February.
From that moment, and under the model propitiated from the Archipelago, the social movement in all Spain caused that, on February 20, the Senate approved a motion urging the Government to guarantee vital treatments for cystic fibrosis patients throughout the country, something that has ended up having its response in the decision adopted by the Commission.
In the case of Orkambi, the indication for children aged 6 to 11 has been authorized (both inclusive) with two copies of the F508del mutation, although the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) would be currently working on the therapeutic positioning report. Until now it was only available for compassionate use. For its part, Symkevi, already approved by the AEMPS since January 2019, has been authorized for people from 12 years with two copies of the F508del mutation, as well as people with a single copy of F508del plus one of another 14 function mutations residual.
This authorization was made under the model of payment for results and after successive meetings held between the department led by María Luisa Carcedo and the Vertex laboratory, as well as meetings with members of the Spanish Federation of Cystic Fibrosis. "We celebrate this step forward on the part of the Ministry of Health, authorizing the financing of these medications that we had been demanding for so long and that slow down the deterioration caused by cystic fibrosis in patients for whom they are indicated," the organization said.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Orkambi in November 2015, and there are already several European countries, such as Greece, Holland or Italy, which already have it funded.