A cystic fibrosis sufferer has said a new antibiotic inhaler given the go-ahead by the UK health watchdog would revolutionise life for many.
Matt Gibbons, a Samaritans volunteer, was diagnosed with the condition at birth. He has to take 30 tablets daily along with liquid antibiotics through a nebuliser, meaning he had to carry the cumbersome equipment around with him.
But after a month-long trial on the TOBI Podhaler, just endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), as a “cost- effective” treatment, the 30-year-old, of Wibsey, no longer needs to take his nebuliser around with him because he has the inhaler.
Cystic fibrosis (CF)is one of the UK's most common life-threatening inherited diseases, affecting more than 9,000 people. The majority of deaths result from loss of lung function linked to inflammation due to chronic bacterial infection.
Mr Gibbons was told during childhood his life expectancy was 30, but he now believes that has risen to 55-plus.
Mr Gibbons, who used to be admitted to hospital monthly and is treated at the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit, at St James's University Hospital in Leeds, said: “I have found a huge improvement and this is much easier to take.
“It deals with any underlying infections and just keeps on top of it, preventing it from escalating into anything more severe.
“I think it will revolutionise people’s lives.”
The move has also been welcomed by the the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, whose chief executive, Ed Owen, said: “It is great news that this drug has been recommended. There is always a need for further choice of treatments for people with CF to become available, particularly treatments that are easy to use such as dry powder antibiotics.”