The pharmaceuticals giant wanted to charge £100,000-a-year for every patient with the illness, a life-shortening genetic condition, but eventually agreed to a compromise. Our team started probing problems in striking a deal after being contacted by heartbroken campaigners. Sufferers were dying without the drugs but in July 2018, after a £500million NHS five-year offer was rebuffed by the US firm, both sides bitterly ditched talks.
Our campaign brought both sides together for their first meaningful talks in a year and gave sufferers a vital voice.
They included Carlie Pleasant, a young mother with cystic fibrosis, who was contacted by Vertex bosses after reading her plea for help in our newspaper.
In the four years between Orkambi being licensed and being made available on the NHS, 274 adults and children needlessly died.
Mr Hancock said the campaign had played an important role in securing a final life-saving deal.
He said: “One of the benefits of Brexit is that we will be able to get faster access to new treatments.
“The Daily Express has run an unbelievably powerful campaign for Orkambi.
“I’m really proud of the campaign the Daily Express ran and the impact that’s had, saving lives already. I’ve had messages from people who have cystic fibrosis who think they would no longer be alive if it wasn’t for Orkambi.
“The Daily Express played an important role in making that happen.”