Jeff urges Government to intervene in Orkambi negotiations

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Along with MPs from across Parliament, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith this week urged the Government to intervene in negotiations between NHS England and pharmaceutical company Vertex regarding Cystic Fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Orkambi has been proven to slow decline in lung function, the most common cause of death for people with Cystic Fibrosis, by 42% and cut the number of infections requiring hospitalisation by 61%.

In July 2016, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recognised Orkambi as an ‘important treatment’ but were unable to recommend the drug for use within the NHS on grounds of cost effectiveness and a lack of long-term data.  Orkambi manufacturer Vertex are in negotiations with NHS England to try and find a way of making Orkambi affordable on the NHS.

At a debate in parliament, MPs urged Health Minister Steve Brine to intervene in these negotiations.

Following the debate, Jeff said:

“The Government need to intervene in these negotiations to ensure that patients can access this life changing treatment in England. This drug is available to patients across Europe and we know that it could benefit almost 3,000 people here in England.

I hope that the Government heard the strength of feeling at the debate today, and takes action.”

For more information, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website – https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/the-work-we-do/campaigning-hard/stopping-the-clock/orkambi

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