Dudley MP Ian Austin has criticised the decision by NHS Scotland to refuse funding for drugs to tackle cystic fibrosis.
Austin says it is bad news for patients elsewhere in the UK as it will reduce pressure on the NHS to fund the drugs as well.
He spoke out after the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) said it would not be recommending the routine use of cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Symkevi by NHS Scotland.
They claimed there is insufficient evidence for the long-term health benefits to justify their cost.
The Scottish Government and the drugs’ manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, have confirmed they are working towards negotiating a deal to ensure the widest possible availability to these lifesaving medicines.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust are calling on the company to take urgent action to secure vital and fair access to their medicines.
On Tuesday 27th August, the Trust will be asking the Cystic Fibrosis Community to come together to make their voices heard.
Orkambi is the first medicine to target the root cause of CF in the UK and has been proven to significantly reduce periods of acute ill health that lead to hospitalisation and permanent health damage for people with CF.
David Ramsden, Chief Executive at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said:
“The SMC’s advice will come as a shock to people with cystic fibrosis and their families in Scotland. While talk of further negotiation between Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Scottish Government is positive, people living in Scotland need these lifesaving drugs now.
"The tragic wait has to end and now is the time for the Scottish Government to remain committed and Vertex to do all they can to ensure that this chance does not slip away again.”
Ian Austin said:
“I’m very disappointed at the news that lifesaving drugs for Cystic Fibrosis won't be funded in Scotland
“This is devastating news for people with CF and their families, not just in Scotland, but across the UK.
“I promise to keep campaigning so that people with CF can get access to these lifesaving drugs now.”