[Ip-health] HSE chief not optimistic on reaching price deal for Orkambi: Minister says he will not be bullied, as talks with pharma firm on cystic fibrosis drug reopen

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Wed Dec 21 12:13:43 PST 2016


I saw a link to this story on Pharmalot.

** Orkambi, which improves lung function and reduces hospitalisation for
cystic fibrosis patients, would cost €160,000 per patient annually, or €400
million for the health service over five years, according to the initial
price proposal.

** The HSE is willing to pay €75 million, which would make it the
sixth-most-expensive drug used by the Irish health system.

** Mr Harris said Scotland had indicated its willingness to collaborate
with Ireland on drug prices and he has also had talks with the Dutch health
minister on the issue.

** Thousands of people protested outside the Dáil last week about the
matter.


http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/hse-chief-not-optimistic-on-reaching-price-deal-for-orkambi-1.2906380

HSE chief not optimistic on reaching price deal for Orkambi: Minister says
he will not be bullied, as talks with pharma firm on cystic fibrosis drug
reopen

Wed, Dec 14, 2016, 18:54
Paul Cullen

[Photo: Orkambi graffiti on Charlemont Place Dublin: under initial proposal
the drug would cost €160,000 per patient annually.  Photograph Nick
Bradshaw]

Senior health officials have said they are not optimistic about reaching
agreement at talks on the price of the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Last-ditch negotiations between the Health Service Executive (HSE) and
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the drug, have resumed following
pressure by cystic fibrosis patients who say Orkambi is a potential
life-saver for them.

Minister for Health Simon Harris welcomed the reopening of talks, but
stressed he would not be “bullied or extorted” by a drug company seeking an
excessive payment, nor would he allow the taxpayer to be extorted.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien said he did not have “a high level of
optimism” about the outcome of the talks. Speaking at the launch of the
2017 HSE service plan, he said paying over the odds for Orkambi would only
encourage others to charge excessively for their products and would be to
the detriment of other services that needed funding.

---------------------
Related Stories
Orkambi protests highlight need for clear policy on expensive drugs
HSE to resume talks on ‘exorbitant’ price of CF drug Orkambi
Harris challenges Orkambi firm to ‘stop spinning’ and get on with price
talks

---------------------

‘Holding us to ransom’

He urged multinational drug companies to respect Irish rules for
negotiating prices and to engage properly without “holding us to ransom”.
Vertex said it looked forward to a “definite solution” at the talks that
would allow access to Orkambi for all eligible patients. “It is now over
year since this medicine was licensed and we are resolved that progress is
now made without further delay,” a spokeswoman said.

“We are still looking to obtain specific feedback from the HSE on the
multiple proposals we have put forward over the past year. The HSE needs to
share our sense of urgency in these negotiations so that together we can
provide access to Orkambi as soon as possible.”

The HSE directorate accepted the recommendation of its drugs group and
formally rejected the last, “final” offer made by Vertex at a meeting last
Monday, but this decision has been overtaken by events as both sides have
agreed to further talks.

Orkambi, which improves lung function and reduces hospitalisation for
cystic fibrosis patients, would cost €160,000 per patient annually, or €400
million for the health service over five years, according to the initial
price proposal.

The HSE is willing to pay €75 million, which would make it the
sixth-most-expensive drug used by the Irish health system.

Mr Harris said Scotland had indicated its willingness to collaborate with
Ireland on drug prices and he has also had talks with the Dutch health
minister on the issue.

Thousands of people protested outside the Dáil last week about the matter.

READ MORE

Orkambi company charge ‘grossly excessive’
Harris reaches out to overseas counterparts on CF drug Orkambi
A doctor writes: Cost of high-tech drugs a bitter pill to swallow
Minister proposes EU bulk buying of drugs to lower costs
Cystic fibrosis patients dismayed as Orkambi rejected


-- 
James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org/donate.html
KEI DC tel: +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040, Geneva Mobile:
+41.76.413.6584, twitter.com/jamie_love



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