Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin urges Health Secretary to "get a grip" on life saving drugs

Dudley MP Ian Austin called on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to “get a grip” on drugs that could improve both the length and quality of life for people suffering with Cystic Fibrosis.

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He wants Mr Hunt to talk with drug manufacturer Vertex to explore avenues for ensuring quicker access to drugs. Under the current system new treatments are assessed based on clinical trials lasting just 48 weeks, but organisations like the Cystic Fibrosis Trust are arguing that these short trials do not take account of the long-term benefits of new treatments.

Austin has been urging the government to change the way drugs such as Orkambi, are assessed for the 10,400 people living in the UK with Cystic Fibrosis. 

Ian Austin said:

 “I’ve been working hard to support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and support people with Cystic Fibrosis who are campaigning for access to life-changing drugs like Orkambi. We’ve held meetings and debates in Parliament, tabled questions and written a cross-party letter to the Department of Health, urging the Government to make sure Orkambi is made available much more quickly.

“I want the discussions between the government and the manufacturers Vertex sorted out urgently – that’s why I stood up in Parliament today to urge the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to take charge of the talks and force them to come to agreement now.

“This drug is helping people elsewhere in the world meanwhile and it’s crucial now that the Government and Vertex come to a speedy and positive conclusion to these negotiations so that people with CF in the UK can get the support they urgently need and I will be sure to keep pushing them on this issue.”

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