Directors of cystic fibrosis drug firm in NHS standoff made 15 million pounds - (The Guardian via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Two UK directors of Vertex Pharmaceuticals made more than 15 million pounds from share options in 2017, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

  • The news comes as the drugmaker has reached a stalemate in negotiations with NHS over the price of the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

  • NHS England has offered to pay 500 million pounds over five years to cover the drug in exchange for price cuts, with Vertex declining the deal.

  • In addition to the share options, Simon Lem and Simon Bedson also received 1.1 million pounds in compensation.

  • Meanwhile, Vertex CEO Jeff Leiden has also received criticism in the US over his total compensation of $78.5 million in 2017.

  • Rebecca Hunt, Vertex's international vice-president of corporate affairs, noted that the company has invested more than $11.3 billion in R&D since 2017, adding "in the context of these huge investments, executive pay is not a significant factor in the cost of the medicines."

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