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MP calls for urgent end to deadlock on cystic fibrosis ‘wonderdrug’ which could help thousands of families

Emma Corr with daughter Harriet, 3
Emma Corr with daughter Harriet, 3

An MP is calling for a deadlock in negotiations over a Cystic Fibrosis wonderdrug to be broken as a “matter of urgency.”

Stephen Hepburn has been behind the fight for Orkambi to be made available on the NHS - and help improve the lives of those living with the condition.

Stephen Hepburn MP

Stephen Hepburn MP

The MP for Jarrow and Hebburn became involved after it was raised by constituent Emma and Chris Corr, whose daughter Harriet, three, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at five days old.

Drugs company Vertex, the manufacturer of Orkambi and the NHS are currently in negotiations over making the drug available on the NHS.

Mr Hepburn, who spoke at a out in the Houses of Parliament on behalf of the couple has continued to quiz the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over the progress of meetings taking place. He has also sent a letter to the company Vertex.

Mr Hepburn said: “I am proud to be keeping the pressure up on the Government to bring this current deadlock to an urgent resolution on behalf of many local people and families who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis.

Every day that goes by their suffering only worsens

Stephen Hepburn

“In the debate in March, I made a plea to the Minister to act immediately. I am pleased that the Government has contacted the drug manufacturer, but people with cystic fibrosis and their families are running out of patience.

“Every day that goes by their suffering only worsens. Their lives could be transformed so there is no reason why Orkambi should not be prescribed by the NHS.

“The deadlock must be broken as a mater of urgency and I will continue to campaign.”

Mrs Corr, from Jarrow, has welcomed Mr Hepburn’s intervention.

She said: “To have Stephen’s continued support is amazing. We don’t have time for delays, so we really need to keep the pressure on to end this deadlock and to make this drug available to those with Cystic Fibrosis. Every day without it, is damaging people’s health.”