Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency is supporting calls from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to urge NICE, NHS England and the pharmaceutical company Vertex to reach a deal on the cost of life transforming cystic fibrosis drugs and make them available on the NHS without delay.

The House of Commons Health & Social Committee Inquiry is hearing evidence from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, NICE and NHS England regarding the ongoing and protracted negotiations for the drugs Orkambi and Symkevi to help move discussions forward and break the stalemate between the three parties.

Orkambi is the second precision medicine that targets the route cause of the disease and would benefit around half of people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in the UK.

It has been licensed for use for over three years, but a deal is yet to be struck to make the drug available for people with CF in England on the NHS. During that time, a third drug to treat the root cause of the condition, Symkevi, has been approved for use but is not available on the NHS.

Stephen Hepburn MP said: “Cystic fibrosis is a terrible illness that affects the lungs and digestive system of people with the condition, who have a median life expectancy of just 31 years old.

“I welcome the Health and Social Care Committee inquiry around the availability of Orkambi and other cystic fibrosis medicines on the NHS.

“The government must do all that it can to ensure that NICE, NHS England and Vertex can move talks forward and agree a deal that will enable access to these vital new medicines as soon as possible.”


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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