Vertex Pharma Refuses to Supply 3-Year Old with Cystic Fibrosis Drug

The New York Post reports that Scrooge should move over for New England drug maker Vertex. As reported, a Brooklyn family now may spend Christmas in the hospital with their 3-year old daughter hooked up to a feeding tube because Vertex won’t give her a three-week supply of a powerful cystic fibrosis drug (Orkambi), one that has generated $1.3 billion in sales last year according to the publication. The family’s insurance provider refused to pay for the $272,000 per year treatment, and new coverage for the child’s mother won’t begin until Jan. 2, 2019. Vertex does offer “bridge” supplies of its drugs to some kids, but on Friday they rejected a request to help. Undoubtedly there is always another side to a story but considering the situation, many feel it is outrageous. If big pharma seeks to improve its image with patient engagement strategies, one would think it would consider in-kind drug donations for terribly ill children during Christmas Season.