After meeting with constituents directly affected by Cystic Fibrosis, in February 2019 Bill held a debate in Parliament that threatened to take away the patent on Orkambi, a drug for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers.
Bill was delighted when Orkambi finally became available to sufferers in the UK and received the following message from the Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust:
Dear Bill Wiggin MP,
Congratulations on your re-election as a Member of Parliament. We’d like to thank you for the support you have given to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. You were there to ensure the Government considered all methods of access to cystic fibrosis medicines by bringing an adjournment debate to the chamber in February, highlighting the urgency of this issue to all key parties in the negotiations.
This Christmas there are thousands of people with cystic fibrosis who’s hope shines a bit brighter. People who might imagine this Christmas could be their last, who now dare to believe new medicines can give them a happier, healthier future. Families who will hold their loved ones with greater hope in their heart that we can beat cystic fibrosis.
The drugs Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, which – with thanks to your support and campaigning – are now available to eligible patients in the UK, treat approximately half of people with CF in the UK.
In 2020, we expect the European licensing of a fourth cystic fibrosis treatment from Vertex Pharmaceuticals. A triple-combination drug therapy (branded Trikafta™ in the USA). The data for the drug shows stunning impact on health and wellbeing, and critically that the drugs can help a far wider group of people with CF than Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco. We estimate that this could increase the number of people in the UK eligible to receive these medicines to 90% of those with the condition.
Now is the time for UK health authorities to work together so that the NHS is among the first healthcare systems in the world to prescribe this radically, game-changing medicine.
In the New Year, we will ask for your support again to help us make this ambition a reality but, for now, we wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Cystic Fibrosis Trust