Harris calls on cystic fibrosis drug manufacturer to 'stop faffing around' over negotiations

The Health Minister has stressed he will not be "bullied or intimidated by any pharmaceutical company"

Harris calls on cystic fibrosis drug manufacturer to 'stop faffing around' over negotiations

Image: RollingNews.ie

The Health Minister says the manufacturers of the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi need to 'stop faffing around'.

Simon Harris says he will not break the laws of the land and bow to Vertex's demand for him to negotiate a price for the drug.

It was announced earlier this week that negotiations between the HSE and Vertex are to recommence. However, the HSE has stressed it cannot pay near the proposed €160,000 per patient per year price tag.

In a statement, the HSE called on the company "to set out a more realistic price which is both reasonable and affordable for Irish patients".

Minister Harris insisted the HSE will do the negotiations.

He said: "I won't be bullied or intimidated by any pharmaceutical company, and I won't have our taxpayers held to ransom - and I most particularly though won't have our CF patients used as pawns.

"I can tell Vertex right now, very clearly, that the people that they need to be in the room from a HSE perspective will be in the room. So stop trying to politicise it, stop trying to spin, to stop faffing around and actually get back in the room."