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UK cost agency says 'no' to pricey Vertex cystic fibrosis drug
March 23, 2016 / 12:10 AM / in 2 years

UK cost agency says 'no' to pricey Vertex cystic fibrosis drug

LONDON (Reuters) - A new cystic fibrosis treatment from Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX.O) has been rejected as too expensive by Britain’s healthcare cost agency NICE.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said on Wednesday that Orkambi, priced at an annual 104,000 pounds per patient, was not a cost-effective use of state healthcare resources, even though it offers clinical benefits.

Vertex said it believed the evaluation process used by NICE in reaching its draft decision was not appropriate for rare diseases like cystic fibrosis, as it did not take into account the full benefits that medicines like Orkambi could offer.

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a genetic defect that causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with sticky mucus. There is currently no cure.

Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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