Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Today the Scottish Government confirmed that cystic fibrosis patients living in Scotland will now have access to the drug Orkambi on the NHS. This follows the signing of a new access agreement with the drug’s manufacturer Vertex.
Orkambi is a life-changing medicine for people with cystic fibrosis, which has been shown to slow decline in lung function by 42% and cut the number of infections requiring hospitalisation by 61%. I’ve long campaigned for it to be available on the NHS.
Today’s announcement is good news for patients in Scotland, but NHS England has responded by saying that Vertex is still failing to offer patients in England fairly priced drugs. I would urge the Health Secretary to bring Vertex and NHS England back to the negotiating table, and for Vertex to offer Orkambi at a reasonable price. If they can do it in Scotland, we ought to be able to do it across the UK.