A YORK woman who struggles with cystic fibrosis has hailed a decision to make a new combination drug treatment available on the NHS, saying it will literally transform her life.

Lynsey Beswick, 37, of Wheldrake, who has been a leading campaigner for better medicines, said: “I am thrilled that finally thousands of lives, including my own, will be transformed because of this new drug.

“I can finally look forward to a long and healthy future. I could not be happier.”

NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens said a landmark deal had been made with Vertex Pharmaceuticals for the new “truly life-transforming” treatment called Kaftrio, and patients in England would be some of the first people in Europe to benefit from it.

An NHS spokesman said three in five patients with the deadly genetic condition could benefit from the ‘triple combination’ treatment, which tackled the underlying causes of the disease by helping the lungs work effectively.

He said clinicians would be free to start prescribing it to English patients as soon as the licence is finally granted in coming weeks.

“The new triple combination treatment combines three drugs which perform different functions – ivacaftor, tezacaftor and elexacaftor,” he added.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was "absolutely thrilled" a deal had been secured for the "cutting-edge medicine".

Lynsey said that for years, she had campaigned alongside the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to make drugs like this available on the NHS and she was thrilled that finally thousands of lives, including her own, would be transformed.

As public affairs manager at the trust, she took the campaign to ministers including the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and also Mr Hancock.

She said the news had come at the best possible time for her, having been shielded for the past three months because of coronavirus - unable to leave her home because CF makes her extremely vulnerable.

“The drug will be essential in the Covid crisis to ensure that I and others with the condition are as strong and as healthy as we can be,” she said.

“I have watched my own health decline, often in and out of hospital for weeks at at time, but this new drug will literally transform my life.”

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said he had represented a number of local residents over the years - CF patients or family of patients - in lobbying for the expansion of access to the best treatments, and he was delighted by the news, adding: “This suggests a real commitment from the NHS and government to ensuring a comprehensive approach to this condition.”