£14m pay deal for boss of 'unaffordable' cystic fibrosis drug | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


£14m pay deal for boss of 'unaffordable' cystic fibrosis drug

The chief executive of a company making a potentially life-saving cystic fibrosis drug that the NHS says is unaffordable was paid $18.8m (£14.4m) in cash and shares last year, the Guardian can reveal.

A circular to shareholders ahead of the company’s upcoming annual meeting showed that Jeff Leiden’s deal was 81 times more than the median Vertex employee was paid and an increase on last year’s $17.2m deal. Separate stock market announcements show that he has also sold more than $70m of company stock over the past two years, some or all of it handed to him as part of his pay deals.

His personal remuneration in 2018 is enough to fund a one-year course of its cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi for 137 patients. Vertex is asking £105,000 per patient per year for the drug, which the NHS insists is not value for money. There are 10,400 children and young adults with cystic fibrosis in the UK, 40% of whom could benefit from Orkambi.

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