North East Herts MP Oliver Heald has been thanked by David Ramsay, Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, for his help in the campaign for access to Orkambi. In a message today Mr Ramsden said:
‘Firstly, a huge thank you for the crucial role you have played in the campaign for access to cystic fibrosis medicines and for ensuring this success. We really appreciate your support.
NHS England has today announced that eligible people with cystic fibrosis living in England will have access to life-saving drugs Orkambi and Symkevi as part of an agreement with the manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
This announcement follows a long campaign by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the cystic fibrosis community who have been fighting for access to precision medicines since Orkambi was licensed for use four years ago.
The breakthrough is a victory for people with cystic fibrosis in England who are eligible and will now have access to drugs that stabilise their lung health and reduce the need for hospital admissions, but this will be bittersweet news for those who have endured irreversible health decline and the families of those with cystic fibrosis who died waiting.
Whilst we welcome this deal and the deal in Scotland, we know it doesn’t end here – we will continue to fight for similar access in Wales and Northern Ireland so that all people with cystic fibrosis in the UK are able to benefit from these life-saving drugs. We will continue to campaign so that people with cystic fibrosis never have to wait again for the best available medicines.’
Commenting, Sir Oliver said: ‘I am delighted that the families locally who have been campaigning for so long will now see this drug available for their loved ones.’