Cystic Fibrosis Drug Used at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge Hailed as ‘Miracle’ Treatment
Thousands of cystic fibrosis patients in England have seen their health dramatically improved thanks to a ‘miracle’ treatment, allowing them to give birth to a baby, since the NHS made it available a year ago.
Over the past 12 months, NHS patients in England have benefited from one of the world’s fastest deployments of triple cystic fibrosis, Kaftrio, in addition to treating patients with Covid.
Nine out of 10 people with cystic fibrosis in England now have access to therapies that patients describe as a “miracle”, thanks to a series of drug deals reached by the NHS. There are around 8,000 people with cystic fibrosis in England – the second highest proportion in the world.
Cystic fibrosis is a progressive genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Kaftrio, described by patient groups as a “breakthrough drug,” has helped people like Laura whose parents learned she would be lucky if she turned 30.
Laura, now 30, started treatment a year ago at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, which treats more than 350 adults with cystic fibrosis from across eastern England. Taking the drug helped her health improve dramatically to the point that she was able to give birth to a baby boy named Louis.
Laura said: “My Kaftrio journey has been amazing, not just for me and my health, but also for starting a family – for having this amazing child that I have wanted for so long. Within a few hours of starting treatment, it started to work – this is the wonder drug.
The NHS long-term plan is committed to using cutting-edge treatments and therapies to save and improve patients’ lives. Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director for England, said: “Despite the
pandemic and the incredible efforts to treat more than 420,000 people with coronavirus in hospitals, NHS staff also delivered one of the fastest Kaftrio deployments in the world, transforming the lives of CF patients.
“The stories of people like Laura who had miracle babies are another example of how the NHS is delivering the latest treatments that are life changing for patients and their families. Kaftrio is one of many cutting edge treatments the NHS has been able to secure at a price that is equally fair to taxpayers. “
The deal is part of a package made possible by the advanced commercial capabilities of the NHS, which provided innovative gene therapy to cure blindness and the world’s most expensive drug, Zolgensma, which can cure paralysis in babies .
Dr Keith Brownlee, Director of Medical Affairs for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, added: “Kaftrio is truly a revolutionary drug. It doesn’t just treat the symptoms of cystic fibrosis, it treats the underlying causes of the disease, which in turn helps boost lung function and prolong life.
To learn more about the Royal Papworth Hospital, visit royalpapworth.nhs.uk.
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