Firm in NHS row over costly cystic fibrosis drug paid no UK tax - (The Guardian via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals' European subsidiary paid nearly no tax despite generating nearly 5.3 billion pounds in sales over five years through 2017, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

  • The firm declared an operating loss in 2017 after paying the parent drugmaker to manufacture drugs such as Orkambi and Kalydeco while receiving 7 million pounds in tax credits from the UK.

  • The news comes as NHS has declined to cover Orkambi on the grounds of cost-effectiveness, while Vertex contends it offered "the best price in the world" to the agency while rejecting an offer of a one-time payment of 500 million pounds to access Orkambi and other drugs for five years.

  • "We have invested heavily in the US and the UK and expect the majority of our income to be recorded in these countries," a Vertex spokesperson commented, adding "we anticipate being a significant taxpayer in both these locations over time."

  • Vertex previously received criticism after providing a $78.5-million remuneration package to CEO Jeff Leiden in 2017.

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