By Democrat reporter
During an exchange at First Minister’s Questions, Dumbarton Constituency MSP Jackie Baillie, called on the First Minister to give details what she is doing to make sure that life changing Cystic Fibrosis medication is made available to all sufferers in Scotland.
Jackie’s constituents, the Gallachers, have led the campaign to have the drugs made available on the NHS.
The MSP told the chamber that the Scottish Medicines Consortium rejected both Orkambi and Symkevi, drugs which have improved the lives of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers in other countries, on the 12th August.
The First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government are in discussions with the manufacturer of both drugs in an attempt to make them routinely available on the NHS.
Jackie will meet with Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, along with the Gallachers on Thursday 19th September.
JackieBaillie said: “Orkambi and Symkevi have changed the lives of Cystic Fibrosis sufferers, so it is only reasonable that all patients in Scotland have the same opportunity to access these drugs as patients in other countries.
“It is disappointing that they have again been rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium – patients desperately need access to these drugs.
“It is welcome news that the Scottish Government is actively engaging with the manufacturer to get to a position where both drugs are routinely available. I hope that this will continue to be a priority for this government.”
In the Holyrood parliament, Jackie Baillie said: “The First Minister will be aware that Orkambi and Symkevi were both rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium on 12 August.
“She will also be aware that these life-changing drugs for cystic fibrosis sufferers have been the subject of a long campaign by my constituent Kelli Gallacher.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her: “First, I want to get to a position where that is the case and I hope that Jackie Baillie recognises that. I know that Jackie Baillie also recognises the fact that the Scottish Medicines Consortium takes decisions independently of ministers.
“However, I also know she is aware, because I understand that the health secretary has written to her and has agreed to meet her about this, that we are continuing discussions with the manufacturers of these drugs to get to a position as quickly as possible where the drugs are routinely available to cystic fibrosis sufferers.
“I hope that we will continue to have the support of Jackie Baillie and other members across the chamber on making progress as quickly as possible with the manufacturers.”