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The latest dustup over the cost of cystic fibrosis medicines sold by Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) is taking place in Australia, where an independent committee recommended that the government not cover a new combination treatment due to the cost and financial implications.

In explaining its decision, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee acknowledged that the medicine, called Trikafta, provided a significant benefit for some patients, especially those with a particular gene mutation. But the PBAC also noted that the cost effectiveness had not been satisfactorily established and deferred recommending coverage while Vertex and the government continue talks. (See page 10).


The move was slammed by a prominent patient group, given that the drug is 90% effective.

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  • “Neither of these two commitments have been given to date, of course.”
    May one observe that the last 2 words from this quote change a simple statement of fact into a stinging indictment?

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