To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Adjournment debate of 17 July 2018 on Access to Orkambi, Official Report, columns 377-386, if he will take steps to keep hon. Members updated over the summer recess in the event that any progress is made between Vertex and NHS England on making the drug Orkambi available on the NHS for people with Cystic Fibrosis.
As was made clear in the Debate on 17 July 2018, Official Report, columns 377-386 Ministers are watching this issue very closely. However, it is vital that we go through the right process. It is the responsibility of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and NHS England, to work together with Vertex to secure the best outcome for patients and a price for Orkambi that is fair and responsible. NHS England and Vertex are therefore responsible for communicating any further information on progress.
It is an important principle that the National Health Service must ensure that healthcare services secure the best value for patients, and that is the approach NHS England is rightly taking. It is disappointing that Vertex has chosen to withdraw from NICE’s technology appraisal of its latest cystic fibrosis medicine, Symkevi, and NICE and NHS England wrote to Vertex on 31 August to signal their continued willingness to meet with Vertex to discuss access to its new cystic fibrosis medicines.