Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien has responded to the government decision to reject funding for the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.
Deputy O’Brien, who has been campaigning for the drug to be approved since October 2015 said, “I am bitterly disappointed to learn that the Minister for Health has rejected the introduction of the drug.
“This drug was approved by the EU Medicines Agency some time ago and has proven to be of major benefit for cystic fibrosis sufferers. Furthermore, it has been shown to extend life expectancy and significantly improve quality of life for those who suffer from the disease.
“More people are living with cystic fibrosis than ever before. About 500 people with CF have the potential to benefit from the implementation of Orkambi in Ireland.”
O’Brien is now calling on the Government to clarify if it will enter into further negotiations and has called on Vertex pharmaceuticals to significantly reduce the price of Orkambi as part of these negotiations.
“Cystic fibrosis is a very debilitating condition and anything that can be brought forward to improve people’s quality of life and extend life expectancy should be made available immediately. Ireland has the highest prevalence of CF in the world and therefore every effort must be made to have this drug put on shelves in pharmacies nationwide.”