‘Caught in the middle’: A battle between Vertex and insurers is leaving cystic fibrosis patients with crushing drug costs

Dan Brickey was stunned when he learned the news.

The cost of the cystic fibrosis medicine that his 2-year-old daughter, Ali, had recently started taking was about to climb from just $180 out of pocket each year to a whopping $43,600 in 2023. The dramatic change was due to a decision by the drug’s manufacturer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, to slash the amount of financial assistance that it offers to patients this year.

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