News in brief: Trikafta recommended for PBS listing; Ten days to consult on National Lung Cancer Screening Program; Inaugural World Bronchiectasis Day set for July 1

Trikafta recommended for PBS listing

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has recommended the listing of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (Trikafta) on the PBS for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients aged 12 years and older who have at least one F508del mutation in the CFTR gene.

However the recommendation is conditional on the sponsor Vertex agreeing to a price reduction to bring it with an acceptable cost effectiveness threshold.

Lobby group Cystic Fibrosis Australia welcome the recommendation as a “joyous announcement for everyone in the CF community.”

“We urge the Department of Health and Vertex to move swiftly to ensure that the PBS listing happens as quickly as humanly possible,” said CEO Jo Armstrong.

Ten days to consult on National Lung Cancer Screening Program

Consultation on a funding application for the National Lung Cancer Screening Program will close on 11 February, the Department of Health says.

An application relating to the proposed model of early detection of lung cancer through the use of low dose computed tomography (LDCT) in high risk individuals (smokers and ex-smokers) will be considered by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) on 31 March – 1 April 2022.

MSAC says the application follows a 2021-22 Federal Budget Measure that tasked the Department of Health and Cancer Australia to work together to establish the feasibility of implementing a national program to inform a fully costed proposal to Government for the detailed design, development and implementation of an NLCSP.

“It is proposed that the NLCSP will use existing LDCT infrastructure and expertise to support a national roll out of the program. MSAC has previously provided advice on the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program,” it notes.

MSAC says it welcomes input from individuals and organisations with an interest in the applications it is considering. Submissions must be received by no later than Friday, 11 February 2022.

Inaugural World Bronchiectasis Day set for July 1

Global patient advocacy groups and professional societies have declared that the first ever World Bronchiectasis Day will be held on July 1, to help raise awareness of the disease and reduce its burden on patients and their families.

“Bronchiectasis has been a neglected disease, and the lack of awareness causes difficulties and distress to many patients,” said Professor James Chalmers, EMBARC Chair and British Lung Foundation Chair of Respiratory Research, University of Dundee, and co-chair of the World Bronchiectasis Day planning committee.

“We have made great advances in the past 10 years, but there is a lot more to do in research and in raising awareness of the condition. We are supporting World Bronchiectasis Day as part of our ongoing commitment with global partners to tackle this neglected disease.”

Every year, organisers from around the globe will coordinate activities designed to spread awareness of bronchiectasis in the hope of identifying the many undiagnosed patients living with the condition.

Collaborating organisations currently include: the European Multicenter Bronchiectasis Audit and Research Collaboration (EMBARC); the European Lung Foundation; the COPD Foundation; the American Thoracic Society; Lung Foundation Australia; The Japanese Respiratory Society; and NTM Info and Research.

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