Bradshaw backs moves to reduce price of life-changing cystic fibrosis drug

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has backed moves by the UK Government to try and reduce the cost of a life-changing cystic fibrosis drug and make it available on the NHS across the UK.

Health Ministers have urged pharmaceutical company Vertex Pharmaceuticals to drop this price of its Orkambi drug, which has been shown in clinical trials to improve lung function and respiratory symptoms in people with cystic fibrosis.

“I have made the case for making Orkambi, a life-changing drug which could improve the lives of thousands across the UK, available through Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board commissioning,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Currently the cost of the drug, at over £100,000 per patient per year, has proved prohibitive and it has not been made available on the NHS. There is a challenge for us all here, because it is inevitable drugs for rarer conditions will come at higher cost. However, given the success of clinical trials, we absolutely must get people with cystic fibrosis the drugs and treatment they need.

“People with the condition simply do not have time for a protracted negotiation – even ‘soon’ is not quick enough. I would urge the drug manufacturer and the UK Government to reach a resolution quickly over the coming days so the drug can be made available swiftly across the UK.”

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