Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS and Vertex remain deadlocked over price of cystic fibrosis drug

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 08 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1094
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. The BMJ

Both sides of the stalled negotiations on the provision of the cystic fibrosis (CF) drug Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor) accused the other of inflexibility while giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry this week.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has been in dispute with NHS England over the high price the company wants for Orkambi—£105 000 (€123 000; $138 000) per patient per year. There has been mounting frustration from patients over the impasse. The committee received 334 written submissions to the inquiry, mostly from patients.1 After the hearing there was a demonstration by relatives of patients with CF and campaigners in Parliament Square.

Jeff Leiden, chief executive officer of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, told the committee he is meeting the health secretary Matt Hancock on Monday 11 March and would put forward some …

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