John joined others in celebrating the news that three cystic fibrosis medicines, including Orkambi, have now been made available to patients in England.
John said: "The agreement to make them available is the result of a tremendous push that many campaigners, like me, have been making to get these drugs for patients in the UK. Many patients are still very young, like those I went to see in the constituency. One of the drugs, Orkambi, has the ability to transform the lives of such patients and I am delighted that clinicians will be able to prescribe it within 30 days. There is no cap on the number of patients who can receive it.”
NHS England has been able to finalise this negotiation because the company agreed confidential commercial terms that constitute good value for British taxpayers and agreed to submit its drugs for full NICE appraisal. This means NHS patients will now have full access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco. The agreement provides access to all three drugs. NHS England has secured a definitive agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to make available all three of their UK-licensed cystic fibrosis medicines.
John added: "It is difficult to underestimate how life-changing these drugs are. It has been a long campaign by a number of colleagues and me in Parliament. In addition to visiting patients with the condition to see for ourselves its effect I have been involved in the campaign to put pressure on the NHS and the Department of Health. The UK has the second highest prevalence of cystic fibrosis of any country in the world and I am desperately pleased to see this arrangement with Vertex brought into action.”