In the first sign the U.K. government may be nearing a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals over access to its cystic fibrosis medicines, the head of the National Health Service in England indicated he is “increasingly confident” that an agreement can be reached, perhaps within the next month.

Speaking before a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said “negotiations have intensified in recent times between NHS England and Vertex,” and that “we really haven’t been on the verge (of an agreement) before.” And in response to questions about the possibility of striking a deal in the next four to eight weeks, he added that he foresees “shorter timelines.” (watch here).

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