Cystic Fibrosis: Drugs

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions there have been between Vertex Pharmaceuticals and NHS England with on cystic fibrosis medicines.

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set a deadline for NHS England and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to come to an agreement to enable access to cystic fibrosis medicines produced by that company.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Discussions with Vertex, including meetings, are ongoing.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are leading the negotiations with Vertex and have made a revised and improved offer to Vertex that would provide immediate funding for Orkambi and Symkevi in advance of a positive assessment by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in addition to expanded access to Kalydeco which is already funded by the National Health Service for certain patients.

The Government fully supports NICE, NHS England and NHS Improvement in seeking to ensure access for patients to effective and innovative medicines at a price that represents value to the NHS, and it is not for Ministers to intervene in this process. The Department’s approach remains to strongly urge Vertex to accept NHS England’s and NHS Improvement’s generous offer, but in the absence of a deal, we have asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to continue to explore all options to ensure patients can access treatments as soon as possible.

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