Cystic Fibrosis (Orkambi and Symkevi)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 5th September 2019.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

The First Minister will be aware that Orkambi and Symkevi were both rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium on 12 August. She will also be aware that these life-changing drugs for cystic fibrosis sufferers have been the subject of a long campaign by my constituent Kelli Gallacher. Can the First Minister advise the chamber how she will ensure that Orkambi and Symkevi are available to all cystic fibrosis sufferers in Scotland?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

First, I want to get to a position where that is the case and I hope that Jackie Baillie recognises that. I know that Jackie Baillie also recognises the fact that the Scottish Medicines Consortium takes decisions independently of ministers. However, I also know she is aware, because I understand that the health secretary has written to her and has agreed to meet her about this, that we are continuing discussions with the manufacturers of these drugs to get to a position as quickly as possible where the drugs are routinely available to cystic fibrosis sufferers. I hope that we will continue to have the support of Jackie Baillie and other members across the chamber on making progress as quickly as possible with the manufacturers.