06 December 2016

Labour spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, has urged the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to provide Orkambi to Cystic Fibrosis patients.

Deputy Kelly said:

“It is unacceptable that the National Centre for Pharma Economics and Vertex have not been able to come to any agreement with the HSE in relation to the use of this drug.

“It is clearly evident that Orkambi has a dramatic impact on some CF patients and improves their lives immensely.

“I have met with many CF sufferers and their families and I am absolutely convinced of the value of this drug based on their experiences.

“The real issue is that many of these families do not have time to wait for this drug to be approved for use. As one mother of a CF patient said to me, any major delays would be life threatening.

“So it’s time for Minister Harris and the HSE, working with the National Centre for Pharma Economics, to come to some compromise on this.

“The evidence shows that people who react well to this drug not alone have better quality of life, but also create less cost and demand on the health services on a day to day basis.

“Furthermore,  there is a need to look at the use of this unique drug and others like it on a pan-European basis, to see how in a collaborative way, we can work with European partners to ensure the provision of life saving drugs for the people that need them.

“The pharmaceutical industry needs to be responsible here and realise that lives are at stake.”




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