Frequently Asked Questions

Trikafta is the highly effective modulator made by Vertex pharmaceuticals. It is not available in South Africa.

Trixacar is the generic  version of Trikafta and is made by Gador Pharmaceuticals in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Apart from the fact that Argentina’s pharmaceutical law prohibits any courier services of medication, it is  also too risky for such  expensive/valuable  medication to get lost in transit.

  1. Genetic testing to confirm genetic mutation
  2. Sweat test
  3. Elastases
  4. Lung function test/ scan
  5. Prescription from treating doctor
  6. SAHPRA approval (need to re-apply every 5/6 months)
  7. Medical aid authorisation (if applicable)

Trikafta is approved for patients 6 years and older with cystic fibrosis who  have at least one F508del mutation in the cystic fibrosis  transmembrane  conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which is  estimated to represent 90% of the cystic fibrosis population.

Please enquire about the patient brochure that was set up by SACFA.

In short: After all tests have been done and SAHPRA approval has been received, the payment can be made from most banks in South Africa. Please note that this might take 2- 5 working days to clear.

As soon as Javier have confirmed receipt of money, the medication will be ordered. Flight ticket can then be bought and medication is collected at a specific pharmacy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Arrange date of collection with Javier.

View our Top Tips for traveling to Argentina.

The medication comes in a box with 28 strips of tablets.

Each strip contains 3 tablets…the full dose means the patient will be taking 2 orange pills in the morning and 1 blue pill exactly 12 hours later, in the evening.

Some patients develop side effects and/or liver/kidney complications. The lower dose should only be taken when prescribed by the treating doctor.

Remember it is against the law to sell prescribed medication. Please do NOT do this as this might jeopardize the whole CF community’s good standing with SAHPRA.

If the patient uses a lower dose- the unnecessary tablets should be returned to the treating doctor, Please.

Trixacar – P is known as the specific Trixacar for pediatric patients 6 to 12 yrs old. There is only a minor price difference and is a lower dose.

Patients older than 12 years have to take Trixacar/Trikafta as prescribed.

The risk is too big/expensive should your checked in luggage get lost.

Rather take medication in your hand luggage.

1 Box size:
26cm x 5.5cm x 12cm

Weight is 200 grams/ box

Yes it is.

Ensure you have 2 COPIES of the following documents with your medication at all times:

  1. SAHPRA approval
  2. Prescription with ONLY Trixacar on it
  3. Passport
  4. Proof of payment
  5. Affidavit if someone else is collecting on behalf of patient

Yes- just arrange accordingly with Javier Novarra.

The price changes weekly due to the Argentina Pesos being worth so little.

They currently have 100% inflation and it is estimated that this will increase up to 110% by June 2023.

Price will be given in USD and can be attained by Javier via Whatsapp.

Patients must have a sustainable source of income to be able to afford Trixacar: This medication needs to be taken life-long.

Patients who are eligible to use Trixacar/ Trikafta and who have a Doctor’s script for the medication should ensure they have sufficient funds to pay for the medication life long.

Please note:

i) The medication’s price changes on a weekly basis due to Argentina’s inflation rate and the Dollar/ pesos exchange rate.

 

ii) Patients should budget for flight tickets, accommodation and travel insurance when collecting medication in Argentina.

 

iii) Duties at customs

Please send us a message if you would like to be added to the specific whatsapp group.
Parents and patients are allowed on this group and it is ONLY for the purpose of sharing information related to Trixacar and collection thereof in Argentina.

Trikafta/Trixacar addresses the underlying cause of Cystic Fibrosis and in layman’s terms: it prevents the mucus from being too thick and sticky – therefore reducing phlegm, sputum production and having much better lung function.

Patients have reported to breathe with greater ease and have much more energy.

Some also experienced less sinus problems and an improvement in smell.

Due to having a direct effect on chloride ion exchange on cellular level- the sweat test results also improves and therefore preventing the typical symptoms and complications associated with Cystic Fibrosis.

Studies have shown that if the medication is taken from a young age, the patient could add 20 more years to their life expectancy.

Patients in South Africa still do NOT have access to Trikafta.

The first patients were able to collect the generic version, called Trixacar, in Argentina and started using it during December 2021.

No it is not painful.

The patient might experience a little tingly feeling due to the electrodes collecting sweat samples, that is placed on the skin.

This might differ from patient to patient, but usually some of the tests are repeated 4 weeks post Trixacar and again at 3 months post Trixacar.

All of this data is currently collected and sent to Discovery medical aid by the treating doctors. This is then used to motivate for better funding and also to prove and monitor the effectiveness of the medication.

Currently it is only Discovery Medical aid that refunds patients partially.

Patients have to be on classic comprehensive or on the executive plan to be able to claim for partial reimbursement.

Please note these reimbursements are different from patient to patient, so ensure it is authorized before medication is collected.

It is not unusual for the medical aid to start by refunding only for 3 months.

Currently Discovery Aid reimburses the patient 50% up to R30 000 per month, but only after the medication is paid for in full by the patient.

The patient must therefore secure funding before collection of medication and the claim can only be processed after the full amount has been paid to the pharmacy.

Discovery medical will request all the baseline test results, documents and SAHPRA approval.

They initially take up to 30 working days to process this claim and then pays the patient back in monthly installments.

This is a very grey area due to poor legislation on Argintinians side. Gador does not want to take unnecessary risks.

Currently patients are only allowed to collect 6 boxes per trip to Argentina. This might change – please follow our Facebook and Instagram pages for updated information about this.

SAHPRA approval allows medication to be brought into South Africa for 6 months.

He is the contact person between patients with Cystic Fibrosis and the pharmacy in Argentina.

He can be contacted via Whatsapp once all the patient’s documents and finance is in place.

The South African Cystic Fibrosis Association advocates and supports patients with Cystic Fibrosis in South Africa.
They have various support groups and fundraising events in aid of Cystic fibrosis.

The short answer: Yes and consult the
patient’s treating doctor.

Here is also a very insightful webinar: Click here.