High price of cystic fibrosis drug 'not political', firm's boss tells MPs - (The Guardian via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals CEO Jeff Leiden stressed that the company's decision to not agree to a steep discount for the cystic fibrosis drug in the UK is not politically motivated, The Guardian reported Thursday.

  • Member of Parliament Ben Bradshaw noted that US President Donald Trump has accused countries of freeloading because they pay cheaper prices for drugs than Americans.

  • Leiden, whose firm has been locked in a dispute with NHS regarding the price of Orkambi for two years, said it is "a much more complicated issue" than political machinations.

  • While Orkambi carries an annual cost of 207 000 pounds in the US, Vertex has offered to cut the cost to 104 000, which NHS called unaffordable.

  • Leiden said the UK offer represented a 90-percent discount to the price of Orkambi in most European nations.

  • The news follows reports earlier this week that Vertex has not paid no corporation taxes in the UK over the last five years.

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