Cystic fibrosis: Company urged to lower cost of life-changing drug - (BBC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Health ministers in the UK have urged Vertex Pharmaceuticals to drop the price of its cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi for NHS patients, reported BBC News.

  • Orkambi costs 100 000 pounds a year per patient, and was deemed too expensive for the NHS by the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2016.

  • In a letter from the health ministers to Simon Bedson, senior vice president of Vertex, they asked the company "as a matter of the utmost urgency to proceed with negotiations in a way that is constructive and supports our joint aim of securing access to your medicines currently licensed in the UK at a price that is cost-effective and fair."

  • Vertex, which rejected an NHS England counter offer, saying it was not enough to fund research into future medicines, said it wants to reach an agreement "as soon as possible" and that a meeting is planned with ministers soon.

  • Orkambi is prescribed for patients with cystic fibrosis who carry the F508del mutation.

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