A YORK MP has spoken up for people with Cystic Fibrosis, who want a potentially life-changing new drug to be available on the NHS.

Julian Sturdy MP spoke in a Parliamentary debate about a government review of access to innovative drugs, after he was contacted be people in York who are directly affected by the illness.

In the Westminster Hall debate last week, the MP said the new drug Orkambi should be given chance to “prove its worth” as its high cost could be justified if its affects are strong enough.

Orkambi is said to cost around £100,000 a year to treat someone with Cystic Fibrosis, and in July this year the National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE) did not recommend it for use because of the cost.

However since then new data has shown it slows the decline in lung function by 42 per cent. In the debate the York Outer MP said that making Orkambi available would certainly see the need for hospital admissions and other treatments for people with Cystic Fibrosis decline.

After the debate he added: “Price is clearly the main barrier to Cystic Fibrosis sufferers getting access to Orkambi, and I believe that the changes to the way that new drugs are considered that is recommended in the Accelerated Access Review could help the Government and the NHS to reach a compromise that is good for patients and the tax-payer. I will continue to lobby Ministers on this very important issue that affects thousands of people across the country.”

Last year Mr Sturdy backed a campaign for more Government support for innovative treatments for people with Cystic Fibrosis and other rare diseases.

The Government’s Accelerated Access Review, which reported on October 24, has recommended things like an “accelerated access pathway” for transformative medicines, more flexible pricing arrangements, and gathering of real-world data to prove how effective a drug is. Mr Sturdy has backed those recommendations and called on the Government to consider them.

He added: “I was pleased to hear that the Minister is receptive to the recommendations...and I understand that the Government will produce a comprehensive response”.