Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
13 November 2019
Last updated:

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Last month I issued a written statement confirming discussions were taking place between Welsh Government officials and representatives of Vertex Pharmaceuticals to discuss how the agreement reached with NHS England to make Vertex’s licensed cystic fibrosis medicines available could be made on equivalent terms for patients in Wales.

I made clear my expectation that Vertex must offer NHS Wales the same agreement made with NHS England. Following a short but intensive period of joint work between Welsh Government officials, the NHS Wales Procurement Service and Vertex, I am pleased to confirm that expectation has now been met. Today I have agreed in principle the terms of an agreement which will mean patients in Wales have access to Orkambi® and Symkevi® as well as continued access to Kalydeco® where these medicines are clinically appropriate. Work will now progress to finalise the detail of the contract between Vertex and the NHS Wales Procurement Service.

I am very aware that patients and their families will expect these medicines to be made available promptly. I have therefore asked for the agreement to be finalised before the end of November to allow the highest priority patients to access treatment in December with all eligible patients being offered treatment from 2020.