Orkambi price deal nears for 500 hopeful CF sufferers
Talks aimed at finally reaching a price deal on the cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Kalydeco between the HSE and the pharmaceutical company Vertex have resumed.
The agreement is expected to also allow provision for further new cystic fibrosis drugs to be made available to people in Ireland with the condition in the future, avoiding prolonged negotiation.
Health Minister Simon Harris said the Orkambi drug would be the most expensive medicine bought by the State.
The cost will have to go before the Cabinet but the hope is that the HSE may be able to afford much of the payment from drugs savings and an underspend in the Budget for medical cards this year.
Mr Harris said he was hopeful of a resolution soon.
About 500 people with cystic fibrosis would like to try Orkambi and around 150 would benefit.
"As minister I have a duty to ensure the health service gets the best possible deal. I am very hopeful of a deal," said Mr Harris.