Drug maker ‘will make $21bn from treating cystic fibrosis’

Vertex is accused of raking in vast profits while making Orkambi unaffordable to NHS A US company, which is refusing to drop its price for the life-changing cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi to make it affordable to NHS England, is set to make $21bn (17bn) in profit from that and a sister medicine, according to research. Countries around the world are struggling to pay for Orkambi, made by Vertex, which has a list price of 104,000 per patient per year and is not a cure. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in England has said effective. On Monday, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will decide whether to approve the drug for children. Parents in England have campaigned, demonstrated on …

Baby with spina bifida receives pioneering keyhole surgery

Jaxson Sharp has spine repaired while in the womb, in first for UK surgeons For the first time in the UK, doctors have performed pioneering keyhole surgery to repair the spine of a baby with spina bifida while still in the womb. Surgeons from Kings College hospital in London used the cutting-edge technique to successfully close a hole in the spine of Jaxson Sharp 27 weeks into the pregnancy. His mother, Sherrie, from Horsham, West Sussex, had the operation after a routine 20-week scan revealed that his spine and spinal cord had not developed normally. The condition can lead to substantial physical and cognitive developmental problems, including paralysis. In the three-hour procedure, surgeons inserted a thin camera and small surgical …