NHS England Concludes Wide-Ranging Deal For Cystic Fibrosis Drugs

This is excellent news which will be welcomed by my constituents who need to access effective cystic fibrosis medicines:

NHS England has today announced it has secured a definitive agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to make available all three of their UK-licensed cystic fibrosis medicines. 

This means NHS patients will now have full access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, and around 5000 people may now take up these treatments. There is no cap on patient numbers, and each and every patient in England who might benefit can now get these treatments, free on the NHS. Clinicians will be able to begin prescribing these drugs within 30 days.

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.

The agreement provides access to all three drugs for all current licensed indications, as well as future licence extensions too. 

Investment in world-class, cutting edge technologies and treatments is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan. Over the last two years, as envisaged by the Accelerated Access Review, NHS England has established an expert commercial drugs team which has been working closely with industry and NICE, and has successfully negotiated a number of innovative deals, making new and promising treatments available for NHS patients. Recent such ‘smart deals’ include:

  • a deal to make ocrelizumab, an innovative multiple sclerosis drug available;
  • a ground-breaking deal which could eliminate Hepatitis C;
  • a £300 million saving after negotiating deals with five manufacturers on low cost versions of the health service’s most costly drug, adalimumab;
  • striking the first full access deal in Europe for CAR-T therapy via the Cancer Drugs Fund, which can potentially cure some children and adults with blood cancers where other treatments have failed, and;
  • reaching a deal to make the life-extending lung cancer drug pembrolizumab available for routine use on the NHS
  • a deal to make nusinersen available – the first treatment that targets the underlying cause of spinal muscular atrophy