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As a long-running battle over access to a pricey cystic fibrosis drug grinds on in the U.K., an advocacy group and several families have formed a buyer’s club in order to make a lower-cost version of a Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) treatment available to patients in the next few weeks.

The new buyer’s club is working with Gador, a drug maker based in Argentina, which will ship a generic version of the Orkambi medication to the U.K., where cystic fibrosis patients and their families can expect to pay roughly $25,000 a year, depending on how many people sign up. This would be 80 percent less than the approximately $132,000 that Vertex reportedly wants to charge the National Health Service in England.


“My child could benefit hugely from Orkambi and future medicines in development by Vertex. But after following years of failed negotiations, I couldn’t just sit and wait for a deal which appeared unlikely given Vertex’s outrageous asking price,” said Emily Birchall, the parent of a child with cystic fibrosis and who was involved in creating the club, in a statement. The club seems like a “feasible solution.”

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