DEBATE ON ORKAMBI – A DRUG TO TREAT CYSTIC FIBROSIS

I was glad of the opportunity to participate in a debate on a new drug to treat Cystic Fibrosis.

We heard much in the debate about the high cost of this drug but the costs of administering it will be offset by the reduction in hospital treatment and stays that those with cystic fibrosis patients must endure. It will also keep those living with this condition healthier for longer and slow down the progress of their illness, allowing them to live fuller and more productive lives. So, apart from the financial cost of this drug, there is also a high price to pay if this drug is not made available to those who could benefit from it.

Talks between the pharmaceutical company which produced the drug – Vertex – and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in England, are ongoing. What is clear is that a way forward to allow all who could benefit from this drug should have access to it. It is down to Vertex to put forward a cost-effective proposition and for the SMC and NICE to work out a constructive solution.

I am hopeful that a solution can be found for the sake of those living with this very distressing illness and their families.

Please click on the link below to hear my contribution.

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