Simon Harris 'frustrated' with 'spinning' by Vertex on price of cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi

Simon Harris 'frustrated' with 'spinning' by Vertex on price of cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi

The Health Minister Simon Harris has hit out at the drug manufacturer Vertex over what he called their "spinning" on the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.

Minister Harris has told Vertex to "stop faffing around" after they suggested he personally needs to lead negotiations.

But the minister says that would be illegal, and he will not do it.

Mr Harris said: "There is no reason in the wide earthly world why Vertex senior executives could not be in a room with senior decision-makers from the HSE today, over the weekend, and try to get this sorted.

"I am actually getting frustrated with the amount of time this drug company and their PR agents have spent spinning.

"If they spent the same amount of time engaging in a meaningful manner with the HSE, we could try and resolve this."

In a statement, the HSE called on the company "to set out a more realistic price which is both reasonable and affordable for Irish patients".

Minister Harris insisted the HSE will do the negotiations.

He said: "I won't be bullied or intimidated by any pharmaceutical company, and I won't have our taxpayers held to ransom - and I most particularly though won't have our CF patients used as pawns.

"I can tell Vertex right now, very clearly, that the people that they need to be in the room from a HSE perspective will be in the room. So stop trying to politicise it, stop trying to spin, to stop faffing around and actually get back in the room."


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