Scottish Government comes to agreement on cystic fibrosis drugs

The Scottish Government has agreed a deal with Vertex to provide two cystic fibrosis drugs to patients in Scotland over the next five years.

Vertex’s Orkambi and Symkevi had been available to a small number of patients through PACS (an individual treatment request system) before the deal. The medicines will now be available to the wider population of 400 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients in Scotland who would benefit from the drugs (out of a total of 900 Scottish CF patients) .

Jeane Freeman, Scotland’s Health Secretary, said:

“This is fantastic news for those living in Scotland with cystic fibrosis and their families. This new pricing agreement with medicines manufacturer Vertex Pharmaceuticals, secured by the Scottish Government, will allow more people with cystic fibrosis to benefit from medicines Orkambi and Symkevi and live fuller lives for longer.

“The agreement has been reached after extensive discussions between the Scottish Government and Vertex Pharmaceuticals and means the medicines will now be made available to patients on the NHS in Scotland, subject to a confidential discount.”

The news comes after the announcement that the medicines would continue to be unavailable in Wales following a draft negative decision from the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). MAP will follow the work of the AWMSG to see if this decision is revisited in light of the new agreement in Scotland.

Discussions are still ongoing to secure access in England, after NICE rejected Orkambi in 2016 as not being cost-effective.

Read the Scottish Government’s press release on the news here.

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Published 18. September 2019 in News, News UK