Cystic fibrosis (new drugs)

I know that those who are affected by CF are hopeful of new treatments that will provide a better quality of life and I commend the willingness of both NHS England and Vertex to arrive at a deal to ensure that these treatments are made available. The NHS is committed to providing the best possible treatment available, however this must also be in conjunction with providing value for taxpayer money. 
 
At the end of August 2018, NICE and NHS England wrote a letter to Vertex underlining their willingness to discuss continued access to Vertex's new CF medicine. This letter reinforced their commitment to securing better quality treatment for people with CF and desire to have access to Vertex's portfolio of CF medicines. If both parties agreed a deal, this would provide immediate access for patients to all Vertex licensed medicines and future pipeline products once licensed.
 
There was a public consultation by NICE on the use of Orkambi by the NHS in 2016. Their final guidance did not recommend Orkambi for the treatment of CF, because the benefits of Orkambi in comparison to the current standard of care did not justify the considerable cost. I believe that NICE is next scheduled to review its guidance on the use of Orkambi in July 2019. There is a robust independent system in place through which NICE reviews the evidence for benefits arising from new medicines and it is the right system to ensure the NHS spends money in the most effective way possible.
 
The manufacturer of Symkevi - Vertex - must reengage with the NICE process and I am encouraged that dialogue between all parties is ongoing. NHS England has offered a very fair deal to Vertex that would provide immediate access for patients to all the company's cystic fibrosis medicines.
 
I would also like to applaud the excellent care already provided by the NHS for patients with CF and point out that people with CF are now living longer. Currently, about half of people with CF will live past the age of 40. Children born with the condition nowadays are likely to live longer than this.