Guernsey secures cystic fibrosis drugs Orkambi and Symkevi deal

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Orkambi packageImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
The confidential deal involves the Orkambi and Symkevi drugs

A deal to supply two drugs described as "life-extending" for people living with cystic fibrosis has been agreed for the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Health authorities began to speak with manufacturers Vertex after NHS England announced its own deal last month..

A date has not yet been set for when the drugs will be available in the islands.

Mike Read, chairman of Cystic Fibrosis Guernsey, welcomed the news and praised the hard work behind the scenes.

However, he said he would not be telling his daughter - who has cystic fibrosis - until everything had been "signed on the dotted line".

The details of the deal were confidential but Guernsey's Committee for Health and Social Care said it was similar to that agreed by NHS England.

Committee President Heidi Soulsby said she was "very pleased" the deal had been struck.

"Discussions are ongoing with Vertex in respect of practical arrangements and both parties are keen that the drugs be made available to patients as soon as possible.

"The availability of this drug locally will improve the lives of people living with Cystic Fibrosis."

Conventional treatments have targeted the symptoms while Orkambi and Symkevi target the genetic mutation to improve lung function and reduce breathing difficulties.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening condition that can cause fatal lung damage with only about half of those with it living to the age of 32.

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