Cystic Fibrosis Medication

– in the Scottish Parliament on 12th September 2019.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

I thank the First Minister and Jeane Freeman for listening to cystic fibrosis campaigners, including my constituent Kelli Gallagher, and for agreeing a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated to make Orkambi and Symkevi free for all on the national health service. What arrangements are in place with health boards to ensure that patients receive medication quickly?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

We will ensure that the impact of the announcement about the agreement between the Scottish Government and the manufacturers is fully reflected in the decisions that are taken by health boards. It is good news. It has not been an easy agreement to reach and there have been several complexities. The fact that we have arrived at a five-year agreement that will allow data about the benefit of the drugs to be gathered is also good news. There might be lessons in that for our approach to other drugs.

I know that there are cystic fibrosis patients and their families across the country today who will be very relieved about the announcement. I know that everyone will welcome what is exceptionally good news.