In the mess of Brexit a rather good news story slipped out. DH have finally agreed a deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to give NHS patients unlimited access to Orkambi, Symkevi and Kalydeco, life changing drugs for Cystic Fibrosis. Just a shame it took so long.
Six months ago I wrote about the rather shabby behaviour of the drugs company Vertex, and why the NHS couldn’t afford it’s drugs:
My policy conclusion was that HMG should establish it’s own drugs company to compete directly in the market against private sector competitors. Since then the Labour Party has basically stolen my policy.
Which I am totally cool with:
One of the inspirations behind my policy suggestion was the actions of this pharmacist in Amsterdam, manufacturing legally her own drugs more cheaply than big Pharmaceutical companies:
The other was the victory that North East NHS Commissioners won over Bayer and Novartis in the High Court last year (a big win, that was woefully under-reported):
I know that this is a small victory, in a much bigger war, but hopefully it shows that the NHS can win sometimes. Sarah Wollaston has been an effective Chair of the Commons Select Committee and I hope she finds a way to stay in Parliament after the next election.
With the 2 main political parties constipated effective backbenchers like Sarah Wollaston and Stella Creasy have been able to work cross party to achieve small but meaningful victories.
With Boris intending to go on strike next week there is potential for further back bench initiatives to take on policy where neither front bench can be arsed.
Just hope someone has told Boris that it is illegal to hold a strike without a ballot, and 14 days notice.