Will Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) blink over the pricing for a cystic fibrosis drug in the U.K.?

Under pressure from a U.K. parliamentary committee, the drug maker late last week met with the National Health Service in England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to hash out long-standing differences over its Orkambi medicine — and what the government says is cost effective.

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  • Ed, reading this article leaves one with the sense of who is in the right and who is in the wrong. I’m not defending either side, as I view both sides as having valid points. However to pretty clearly take a position under the guise of reporting is not responsible journalism. The fact this happens increasingly in the modern world does not excuse it.
    You have a strong tendency towards injecting your apparent world view into your reporting in my experience. Perhaps it’s time to label your writing opinion, as it does not pass muster as objective reporting.

    • Hi Ted,

      Thanks for your note, although I respectfully disagree.

      This long-running saga is a prime example of the push and pull between governments and drug companies over affordability of medicines. And in such cases, patients are often caught in the middle.

      I’ve followed this episode for a while and, in earlier posts, noted frustration from patient groups with the government and the two agencies, as well. There have been a few twists and turns.

      Moreover, I did not express my own view about an outcome. As you noted, both sides have valid points and I’ve attempted to provide the issues and details that illustrate their positions.

      The UK’s NICE has often been criticized by the pharma industry for its decisions and approaches and I’ve noted how Vertex has complained. And drug makers are often criticized for their pricing, and I’ve noted how Vertex has been viewed, as well.

      I’m not sure how you come to your conclusion, but I regularly reach out to the NHS, NICE and Vertex for comment, and would gladly include fresh insights – not just boilerplate remarks – if they are to make anyone available.

      I’m not sure what you think my ‘world view’ happens to be, but I believe the issues are rather clear.

      Not sure this helps, but there you go.

      All best,
      ed at pharmalot

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