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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00170: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 20 May 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will meet the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to discuss its proposal to have the drug, Orkambi, available to patients with funding from the New Medicines Fund.

Answered by: Shona Robison 2 June 2016

In Scotland we have a clear route for new drugs to be appraised through the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC). The independence of SMC decisions on individual drugs is well established. The Scottish Government has made clear to the manufacturer of this drug that a resubmission needs to be made to the SMC at a reduced price. The SMC process requires submissions to be made by pharmaceutical companies rather than patient groups. It also allows for pharmaceutical companies to propose a commercial arrangement to improve the cost-effectiveness of a medicine to the Patient Access Scheme Assessment Group.

While the efforts of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in exploring ways forward is welcome, any proposal for a commercial arrangement needs to be made by the pharmaceutical company to the Patient Access Scheme Assessment Group. The independence of SMC means that the Scottish Government has no role in taking individual decisions on particular proposals or drugs.