02 December 2019
DUP Upper Bann MLA and Westminster candidate Carla Lockhart has welcomed the progress outlined by the Department of Health on the making available the new Orkambi drug for sufferers of cystic fibrosis. This was revealed in a letter sent to the MLA by the Department of Health following representation on behalf of her constituents.
Speaking following receipt of the letter Carla Lockhart said, “I am delighted to hear of much progress following the announcement by Mr Pengelly on 29th October. He outlined that since then constructive discussions have been held with manufacturer Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the company has made a formal offer on pricing which is equivalent to the agreement reached with NHS England.
This offer has been accepted by the Regional Pharmaceutical Procurement Service on behalf all the Health and Social Care Trusts and a formal agreement with Vertex Pharmaceuticals has now been finalised.
On a very positive note arrangements are being put in place to ensure clinicians will be able to begin prescribing the drugs to the first eligible patients within the next few weeks. It is estimated that in excess of 270 patients will be eligible for the new drugs under the agreement which is a welcome move by sufferers in my constituency and across Northern Ireland. I would like to commend the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for their work on this implementation. As a charity they have long lobbied for this and I am delighted that it has come to fruition.”