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Seeking to break a stalemate over pricey cystic fibrosis drugs, the U.K.’s National Health Service has offered Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) what it called the “largest ever financial commitment of its type” for the company’s medicines.

After more than two years of haggling, the NHS agreed to “expanded and immediate” access to a pair of existing drugs, Orkambi and Kalydeco, and a forthcoming medicine called Symdeco. The agency also committed to making a next-generation triple therapy available once it is licensed by the government.


As a result, the NHS estimated that the proposed five-year deal should provide Vertex with more than $660 million in revenue and double that amount over the next decade, depending upon any competitive treatments that come to market. Meanwhile, the number of patients who would gain access to the medicines would jump to 5,000 from 450 this year.

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