Drugs that could transform the lives of people living with cystic fibrosis will be available on the NHS before the end of November.
A new deal, announced by Health Minister Matt Hancock, will benefit 5,000 people whose lives would have otherwise been “cut short”.
The drugs – Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco – will be available on the state-funded healthcare provider within 30 days after NHS England signed the agreement with Vertex.
The breakthrough follows a row that rumbled on for more than three years over the cost of the drugs.
The health secretary said he is “absolutely delighted” NHS England and Vertex have been able to come to “a good deal”.
He added: “Crucially this will help people with cystic fibrosis to live longer.”
Whilst Mr Hancock wouldn’t reveal the cost of the deal to the taxpayer, NHS England said: “Vertex has now agreed a deal that is good for our patients and fair to British taxpayers.”
Previously the drug cost more than £100,000 per year per patient and was not available on the NHS.
Among those who have benefited from the drug is teenager Amalie Pledger.
She was able to access the drug after being placed on Vertex’s compassionate use programme – which she says has made her life significantly easier.
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