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Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
22 July 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

On 30 June, I provided an update on access to Vertex’s triple therapy Kaftrio (elexacaftor, tezacaftor, ivacaftor) following the announcement by NHS England that they had reached an agreement to make the therapy available later this year.

Following my statement, that I expected the detailed agreement between NHS Wales and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to be finalised urgently, I am very pleased to confirm we have reached agreement with Vertex on the main elements of the agreement today following a period of constructive negotiations.

Importantly, this four-year deal will mean the more than 400 people with Cystic Fibrosis in Wales will be able to access the most appropriate CF medicine for their needs including the much anticipated, ground-breaking triple therapy Kaftrio at the earliest opportunity.  Our aim has always been to ensure that each patient for whom Kaftrio is appropriate, will be able to be considered for treatment from the point at which it receives its European marketing authorisation later this summer. 

I can also confirm that patients under 12 years of age will continue to benefit from the agreement reached last year giving them continued access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco where clinically appropriate, with access to Kaftrio to follow if approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).  The agreement also means patients with rare mutations, which fall outside of the scope of the EMA approval, will be able to benefit the range of treatments where they and their clinicians agree treatment is appropriate.

Whilst the commercial terms of the agreement are confidential, I am content that the agreement reflects equivalent terms to those agreed between Vertex and NHS England and importantly, reflects the value of these innovative CF medicines to the NHS.

I know this will be a significant, and emotional, day for patients and their families.  I am delighted this announcement alongside our wider investment in CF services will contribute to a healthier and positive future for the CF community in Wales.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.