As the spat between the National Health Service of England and Vertex prolongs, two of the cystic fibrosis medicines of the drugmaker have been rejected by the Scottish NHS.
The United States drugmaker has tied a contract with NICE, which has blocked the drug from being allowed into the National Health Service of England until Vertex agrees to offer a discount on the price tag of the treatment which would induce the agency in looking favorably upon its affordability. On Monday, two of the firm’s medicines were rejected by the Scottish NHS; Symkevi and ORkambi for a similar reason which disappointed thousands of patients.
The list price of every drug is more than 100,000 pounds per patient annually. In the United Kingdom, there are over 10 thousand cystic fibrosis patients, which is the largest cystic fibrosis population outside the United States, as revealed by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
NHS is being persuaded by the campaigners in the UK to cover the cystic fibrosis drugs of Vertex, however, this has been in vain. To the dismay of the cystic fibrosis patients in the United Kingdom, it was revealed by an executive of Vertex in March that in the last year nearly eight thousand packs, where each contained a 28-day supply, of the firm’s treatment, Orkambi, were wiped out after they crossed their expiry date. In a deadlock with United Kingdom parliament in March, the Chief of Vertex ‘Jeff Leiden’ stood his ground, in spite of being penalized by a number of MPs for the business model, pricing strategy and ethics of Vertex.
The cystic fibrosis drugs manufactured by the firm are the very first treatments which address the main genetic causes of cystic fibrosis, which can be identified by a concentrated sticky mucus in the digestive system, lungs, as well as, other organs which diminishes life expectancy.