Minister Harris on Orkambi
Health Minister Simon Harris has said he is pleased to learn that Vertex has responded to the HSE with a view to re-engage in negotiations with them on Orkambi.
Speaking from a meeting with EU Health Ministers in Lisbon today on drug price negotiations, the Minister said:
I have always said that Vertex need to re-engage in a meaningful way with the HSE that addresses the core issue of price and affordability. In that context the company must return to the table with a significantly better offer. This has not happened to date and I again call on the company to re-engage in a meaningful way. However, I was pleased to learn that Vertex has responded to the HSE today with a view to re-engage in negotiations with them on Orkambi.
In a meeting with some of my EU counterparts, I raised this issue of the unacceptably high price Vertex has put on this drug, making it inaccessible not just for Ireland's CF patients but for other patients around Europe. I intend to continue to intensify my engagement with colleagues in Europe and indeed other countries on this issue.
I want to see CF patients receive access to the best treatments possible. That remains my priority.