A Rathcoole woman who suffers from cystic fibrosis has welcomed news that life-extending drugs approved to treat the condition will be made available in Northern Ireland.
Nicole Adams (28) currently has 20 per cent lung function and is relying on oxygen for small tasks such as walking up stairs.
Earlier this month, the Newtownabbey Times reported that family and friends of the local woman launched a campaign in an attempt to raise some of the £104,000 per year needed to cover the cost of her medication.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health confirmed its intention to follow’s England’s lead and complete a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Symkevi.
David Ramsden, Chief Executive at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said: “It is fantastic news that Northern Ireland plan to give access to the life-saving cystic fibrosis (CF) drugs Orkambi and Symkevi. This has been a hard-fought battle, and a huge thank you must go to everyone who has been part of this campaign for their persistence and determination to keep fighting.
“But the fight doesn’t end until all four nations in the UK have access, we won’t stop until Wales have a deal. And with the new triple therapy, Trikafta, due to start the licencing process shortly - which could benefit over 90 per cent of people with CF - we will be working to ensure we don’t ever have to wait this long for access to vital new treatments again.”
Writing on her Facebook page, Nicole said the development was the "best news ever", adding: "For today my life can start to become something that I really thought after this year I wouldn't see."