Orkambi debate

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has continued to keep up the pressure on the Government to ensure the life-changing drug Orkambi is made available on the NHS for people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.  

Speaking at an important Parliamentary debate recently on the drug for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, the Jarrow MP repeated his calls that it should be supplied by the National Health Service.  

Mr Hepburn has constituents such a four-year-old Jarrow girl Harriet Corr who are battling cystic fibrosis.  Her family face the difficult decision of whether to uproot to Scotland in the hope she will have access to the wonder drug that could extend her life. Harriet was diagnosed with the genetic disorder at just five days old.  Her mother Emma Corr is forced to give her young daughter a cocktail of drugs and vitamins, as well as intense physiotherapy, every single day.

Mr Hepburn, speaking in Parliament during the debate, said:

“It is totally unacceptable that a country with the second highest number of sufferers, and one that leads the way in cystic fibrosis outcomes, now risks falling behind many other European countries and the USA and allowing people with the condition to become physically sicker than necessary all because an agreement on the economics of treatment cannot be reached.

“We have had five parliamentary debates, and still there has been no action from the Government. These drugs need to be on the NHS now, because every day without them is another day of suffering for the people living with the condition.”

The Parliamentary debate was triggered by a community-led petition that received over 100,000 signatures, including 581 from the Jarrow constituency.   Around 10,000 in the UK suffer from Cystic Fibrosis. 

The full debate is available on https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-06-10/debates/15AB9280-DBE7-413D-98AA-8079206FB93B/CysticFibrosisDrugsOrkambi#contribution-22C21259-7D98-49AA-BD13-BBFEE3503194

Stephen Hepburn MP said:

“Hopefully this important debate in Parliament will go some way to persuading the pharmaceutical company Vertex, the government, and NHS England to resume negotiations and agree on a deal which prioritises the lives of patients over financial interests.

“I will continue to keep up the pressure on the Government to intervene until this life-changing drug is made available on the NHS.”


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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