Press Release

Statement by Minister for Health on Orkambi

Minister for Health 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 (Wednesday) 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.”

ENDS