An early Christmas gift was delivered to about 10,000 Australians who are suffering from kidney disease.
The first drug that will effectively treat the genetic condition that endangers life will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme since January 1st, which will save patients 23,000 dollars a year, the federal government announced on Sunday.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a progressive and painful condition in which cysts develop and grow in the kidneys, so that most people with dialysis require or require transplantation for up to 60 years.
Helen Kulikan of Sydney says her husband, who died in 2010 due to illness, dreamed of drugs that could help him fight ADPKD.
"It would give him a few more years, it's a precious time when you're a parent," she told AAP.
A parent with that disease has a 50% chance of transferring it to his children, so it was discouraging, but not surprising that four children inherited ADPKD.
"This drug gave hope where there was no hope," said Mrs. Coolican, who was part of the founding team of the Australian PKD Foundation.
"It's the best Christmas present."
The 66-year-old, from the northern coast of Sydney, donated the kidney to her husband, Michael, but died almost nine months later.
"He had a transplant and unfortunately he got pneumonia, that's one of the things that happens when you are immunosuppressed," she said.
Treatment medication, called Jinarc (tolvaptan), blocks the activity of the natural hormone, which is elevated in patients with ADPK and contributes to the proliferation of cyst in the kidneys.
Although it does not treat patients, it slows the progression of their condition, giving them more time until they face dialysis and transplantation.
There are also multiple complications of the disease, including hypertension, chronic and acute pain, and repeated urinary tract infections.
The PBS list means that about 900 patients will pay $ 40.30 a year per letter, or $ 6.50 for patients with concessions.
Treatment of the disease through treatment means more years of labor and better quality of life for patients, Coolican said.
Australian Associated Press