Jenny Agutter pleads for Government to reach deal with company for cystic ...

With his chubby cheeks and blond hair, actress Jenny Agutter's great-nephew Albie is every inch the bouncing baby boy.

But behind the smiles, the Call The Midwife star knows challenges lie ahead for the newest addition to her family, because the one-year-old has the debilitating genetic condition cystic fibrosis.

Yesterday Miss Agutter, 66, spoke out to urge the Government and US drugs firm Vertex – who are locked in a stalemate over the price of new life-changing cystic fibrosis drugs on the NHS – to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

Jenny Agutter (left) is urging the Government to reach a deal with a US drug firm for the sake of cystic fibrosis patients like her great nephew Albie

Jenny Agutter (left) is urging the Government to reach a deal with a US drug firm for the sake of cystic fibrosis patients like her great nephew Albie

She said it was 'hard to understand' how bosses of the pharmaceuticals firm, who earn up to £14million a year, could be 'comfortable' with the delay in getting revolutionary treatment, such as Orkambi and Symdeko, to British patients when lives were being lost. 

'I want a deal to be done for Orkambi, Symdeko and the rest of Vertex's pipeline of corrector drugs now but understand how difficult this is,' she said.

'I have no doubt a deal will be struck and hope it will be sooner rather than later.

'The cost is high for these drugs but so are the costs of having someone in hospital as a result of lung damage from multiple, continuous infections, the cost of a lung transplant and inability to work and contribute to society.'

She added: 'It is hard to condemn someone because they run a profitable business, but it is hard to understand how anyone could be comfortable enjoying a large income knowing that some of the profit they are making could be used to save lives.'

Cystic fibrosis, which causes a build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs, has been part of Miss Agutter's life ever since her niece Rachel McGrath – who is Albie's aunt – was diagnosed as a baby 40 years ago.

Rachel McGrath (left), sister Georgina Rosoman (centre) and her son Albie Rosoman

Rachel McGrath (left), sister Georgina Rosoman (centre) and her son Albie Rosoman

In 1979 children

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