Heath secretary urged to step in and break Orkambi ‘deadlock’

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street, London, following a cabinet meeting. Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock leaves Downing Street, London, following a cabinet meeting. Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
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HEALTH secretary Matt Hancock is being demanded to intervene in a campaign spearheaded by Portsmouth mums to offer a life-changing drug on the NHS.

The recently-appointed Tory health chief is being urged to wade into the battle to provide Orkambi on the health service,.

Campaigners, like Paulsgrove mums Gemma Weir and Michelle Frank, say the drug would improve the quality of life of children with cystic fibrosis. 

But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says the drug is too expensive for the NHS as it costs £104,000 a year per person.

Vertex, the company behind the drug, has attempted to table an agreement with NHS England. But talks between the two have failed.

Now Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has written to Mr Hancock to step in and ‘break the deadlock’. He said: ‘It is young people and their loved ones who are suffering from the impasse and who understandably feel increasingly isolated and angered by the collective failure to advance treatment. In the words of a local family, they are being reduced to bargaining chips.’