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Sheehan calls for meaningful talks over Orkambi availability

12 February, 2019 - by Pat Sheehan


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Health Pat Sheehan has called on Vertex, the maker of the life changing Cystic Fibrosis (CF) drug Orkambi to engage in meaningful negotiations to make it more widely available.

Commenting on reports that the company’s net income more than doubled, from $158m to $337m, on the back of its Cystic Fibrosis products, the West Belfast MLA said:  

"The contrast between the huge profits made by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the desperate situation facing CF sufferers here who are denied access to Orkambi, could not be starker.

"The island of Ireland has the highest proportion of people suffering from CF in the world with a predicted median age of survival in the early to mid 30s.

"The fact that Orkambi has been made available to eligible CF patients in the south shows that it is possible to agree terms that ensure that patients who would benefit from Orkambi have access to it.

"Vertex need to engage meaningfully in negotiations in the interest of making Orkambi available to CF patients rather than leveraging their despair to secure greater profits for themselves.”

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