Cllr Richard Holmes has called for the use of new drugs to combat cystic fibrosis to be extended to Northern Ireland. The manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has struck a deal with NHS England which also covers Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Unionist Councillor said: “This deal is great news for cystic fibrosis sufferers and their families. The new drugs such as Orkambi and Symkevi have been found to have life changing benefits, improving quality of life and reducing hospitalisations.
“These drugs will have a massive benefit across England as they did in other countries, but Northern Ireland will once more be at the back of the queue. The lack of Stormont government by Sinn Fein and the DUP coupled with the unwillingness by the Secretary of State to legislate means that the inevitable delay in decision making will create ongoing and unnecessary suffering for those with cystic fibrosis.
“Given the abysmal state of the NHS in Northern Ireland, Lord Empey has introduced a private members bill to the House of Lords to return health functions to Westminster. Decisions need to be made urgently, such as the extension of the cystic fibrosis drugs to Northern Ireland, and we cannot allow our health service to be ruined through the lack of an Executive.”