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Cystic Fibrosis In The News

Learn about the latest CF medical advances, treatments and pharmaceuticals.

Some 30 Managed Medicaid Patients Not Able to Get on Orkambi Drug

KristinaCaudillThis is 29 year old Kristina Caudill. She has cystic fibrosis. I (Laura Bonnell) met with her Monday to talk about how many times her managed medicaid plan denied her request to get on Orkambi, an approved drug for CF by the FDA (July). Caudill and her CF doctor will try for a 5th time to get her on the medication. The state medicaid panel met Tuesday and after months of people advocating to get the drug approved, the panel made a recommendation to have it listed as an acceptable drug. The state Director, Chris Priest (approachable, media accessible and with a desire to help) says it won’t be a long wait but couldn’t say exactly when it will be in the hands of the approximately 30 people who don’t have access to the meds. These are people on average whose yearly income is below $30,000. I also talked to Governor Snyder today and he said the new drugs coming out for people with CF and other diseases is exciting. As Priest stated, and the Governor agreed, they have to listen to the recommendation of the panel (and they approved it), pay attention to costs and talk with legislators.

Listen to the audio of Laura and Kristina’s talk:

FDA Approves New Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

Via CNBC

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it had approved the use of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Orkambi, a drug aimed to treat patients with cystic fibrosis, on patients who are at least 12 years old.

The company’s shares were temporarily halted, up 3.73 percent at $130.90, during late-morning trading for pending news ahead of the announcement at 11:47 a.m. ET. Trading started again around 3 p.m. ET, and Vertex closed the day slightly higher than its halt price.

“…The approval of ORKAMBI represents a fundamental change in the treatment of the most common form of CF, marking significant progress for us and for the entire CF community,” Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

With the approval, Orkambi will be available to about 8,500 patients in the United States, according to Reuters.

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a defective gene that disrupts the function of the lungs and digestive system, producing a build-up of thick, sticky mucus leading to inflammation and recurrent bacterial infections..

Hepatitis C investigation at The University of Michigan

UMHS one of six Michigan facilities linked to New Hampshire hepatitis C investigation

The Michigan Department of Community Health has been investigating the employment history of a Hepatitis C-positive health care worker who was recently arrested in New Hampshire for allegedly obtaining injectable narcotics at hospitals there, and infecting patients with the Hepatitis C virus through used syringes. To read more please click below:

http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/hepatitis-c-investigation

Affordable Care Act supports families who have children with CF

Affordable Care Act supports families of children with special health care needs

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $4.9 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, primarily non-profit organizations run by and for families with children with special health care needs.

“These centers provide the information that families need to make health care decisions that are right for their children,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Family-to-Family Health Information Centers are a good investment, and have a measurable and positive impact on families, and communities.”

Vertex brings hope

Parents who have kids with the deltaF508 strain of cystic fibrosis will soon be able to breathe a little easier.

Results from the clinical trials by Vertex Pharmaceutical’s have stocks climbing. The drug company climbed 55 percent to $58.12 at the close of the New York trading on May 7th, 2012.

Click here to read the full article

Kalydeco: A Homerun For CF

The FDA has approved KalydecoTM (ivacaftor), the first medicine to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare, genetic disease. Kalydeco is approved for people with CF ages 6 and older who have at least one copy of the G551D mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Approximatel 1,200 people in the United States, or 4% of those with CF, are believed to have this mutation.

Kalydeco was granted approval in approximately 3 months, making it one of the fastest FDA approvals ever and marking the second approval of a new medicine from Vertex in less than a year.

Read the full article