Cystic fibrosis drugs rejected for use by NHS in Scotland - (BBC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals' cystic fibrosis therapies Orkambi and Symkevi have been rejected for coverage by NHS Scotland, BBC News reported Monday.

  • The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) concluded that the benefits of the drugs relative to their costs are uncertain.

  • SMC chairman Alan MacDonald remarked "in order to be able to accept these medicines the committee will need to be satisfied of their cost-effectiveness and we continue to work with the company to achieve that."

  • "Since the government became aware of the SMC decision last month we have been working with the SMC, the manufacturer and with other interested parties to develop the principles of a solution that can make possible the widest availability of these medicines, wherever clinically appropriate," said Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

  • Commenting on the news, Cystic Fibrosis Trust chief executive David Ramsden stated "while talk of further negotiation between [Vertex] and the Scottish government is positive, people living in Scotland need these life-saving drugs now."

  • "The tragic wait has to end and now is the time for the Scottish government to remain committed and Vertex to do all they can to ensure that this chance does not slip away again," Ramsden continued.

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