ARTICLE | Company News

Vertex: ball is in France’s court

February 16, 2018 12:42 AM UTC

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) said it has tried six times to land on a reimbursement price with French authorities for its cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi ivacaftor/lumacaftor. Negotiations reached an “impasse” when the government made a counteroffer at an 80% discount to Vertex’s proposed price for the drug, the company told BioCentury.

While details of the pricing negotiations are confidential, Vertex said France’s offer is in line with another CF drug that has been on the market for 20 years that treats symptoms of the disease -- Pulmozyme dornase alfa from Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY). According to France's Ministry of Health, a 30-ampule pack of single-use inhalers of Pulmozyme, which is taken once daily, costs €705 excluding taxes, or about €8,578 ($10,529) annually. ...