James at the Orkambi protest outside Parliament, March 2019
James at the Orkambi protest outside Parliament, March 2019

Bury North MP James Frith is celebrating a deal which has been reached between NHS England and pharmaceutical company Vertex to provide access to Orkambi for NHS patients in England.

James has been fighting for access to Orkambi for over two years after he met local woman Clare, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, at his first advice surgery as Bury’s new MP in July 2017.

The deal follows over two years of pressure from James and a cross-party group of MPs, including meetings with Ministers, and the bosses of NHS England, NICE and Vertex. It means that NHS patients will now have full access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, and around 5,000 people may now take up these treatments. There is no cap on patient numbers, and each and every patient in England who might benefit can now get these treatments, free on the NHS. Clinicians will be able to begin prescribing these drugs within 30 days.

James said:

“I am delighted with this result, which comes after over two years of letters, meetings, interventions in Parliament and protests outside by me and other MPs and dedicated Cystic Fibrosis campaigners.

“Access to these life-changing drugs will improve the lives of constituents in Bury like Clare and thousands of other people living with Cystic Fibrosis across the country.”

See James’ speech at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s Orkambi protest outside Parliament in March 2019

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