New drug approved to treat Cystic Fibrosis

Minister for Health says HSE will work with manufacturer ‘to ensure timely access’

Hundreds of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients are due to get access to a new treatment following the approval of a new drug for use in Ireland.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has announced it has received EU market authorisation for Symkevi, used to treat those aged 12 and older.

Cystic fibrosis is a common inherited disease that affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, leading to frequent and severe infections.

It is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of cells in the body, and affects over 1,100 people in Ireland.


The EU regulatory decision will result in Irish patients having access to the new drug.

“I am delighted to see that a new treatment has been approved for CF patients in Ireland and their families,” Minister for Health Simon Harris said in a statement on Friday.

“Over the next number of weeks the HSE will work with Vertex to ensure timely access to this new treatment for Irish patients. This is a really important development and a significant day for patients with cystic fibrosis.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times