NHS Scotland will be able to prescribe people with Cystic Fibrosis with the medication Orkambi® and Symkevi® if that would be of benefit to them.
The Scottish Government has secured a 5 year pricing agreement with pharmaceutical company Vertex who will also collect data about the effectiveness of the medications.
Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government, said:
“This is fantastic news for those living in Scotland with cystic fibrosis and their families. This new pricing agreement with medicines manufacturer Vertex Pharmaceuticals, secured by the Scottish Government, will allow more people with cystic fibrosis to benefit from medicines Orkambi® and Symkevi® and live fuller lives for longer.
“The agreement has been reached after extensive discussions between the Scottish Government and Vertex Pharmaceuticals and means the medicines will now be made available to patients on the NHS in Scotland, subject to a confidential discount.”
It is thought that up to 400 people in Scotland will benefit from the medications which are not available on the NHS anywhere else in the UK. In Scotland prescriptions are free.
David Ramsden, Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said:
“This is a landmark moment for the hundreds of people with CF and their families across Scotland who have tirelessly campaigned for years to access these drugs. This breakthrough is a victory for their perseverance and enduring hope. It means 350 eligible people living in Scotland will have access to drugs that stabilise their lung health and reduce the need for hospital admissions.”
“We celebrate the news in Scotland today, but our campaign must continue to focus on Vertex and all parties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Those in need of the drugs have already waited too long and we must ensure that thousands more people are not subjected to a postcode lottery.
“Scotland’s success must now be replicated across the UK without further damaging delay.”
The Butterfly Trust provides social support to people in Scotland with Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis Trust – information and support
Reporter: Fiona Grahame