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Thirty patients have died after taking a Vertex Pharmaceuticals treatment for cystic fibrosis, according to a government database, news that sent the company’s share price down as much as 4% on Wednesday morning.

The deaths, reported to the Food and Drug Administration’s database of side effects, relate to patients who took Symdeko, a Vertex medicine approved last year. Reports to the database are commonly submitted by health care professionals and often contain incomplete information about how patients died and what other medicines they were taking. It’s also unclear whether any of the deaths are directly related to Symdeko.

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  • Vertex provides the drug for free across Europe on an individually assessed compassionate use basis, predominantly for sufferers with critically low lung function (sub 40%). Unfortunately, those with such low lung function will correlate with earlier deaths.

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