Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 19th July 2018.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to intervene in negotiations between NHS England and pharmaceutical company Vertex on the provision of Orkambi to Cystic Fibrosis patients on the NHS.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Patients should have access to the most effective and innovative medicines; it is also necessary that Vertex price Orkambi fairly and responsibly. That is why we must go through the right process with NHS England and Vertex, not the Government, working together to secure the best outcome for patients.

NHS England has been in intensive discussions with Vertex to encourage it to lower the cost of Orkambi to a level that would allow NHS England to fund its use without adversely impacting other patients. I and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) have been keeping an extremely close eye on these discussions and wrote to Vertex in April, urging it to commit to pricing that is responsible and proportionate. I also re-iterated this message in the adjournment debate on 17 July, Official report, coulmns 383-4.

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