LEADING consultants from Scotland’s top cancer treatment centre are demanding an “urgent review” of the system that gives access to drugs that could prolong the lives of patients north of the border.
• Medics from Scotland’s top cancer treatment centre claim that Scottish patients are three times less likely to get access to new cancer drugs
• 19 cancer drugs are available on the NHS in England which are not offered to patients in Scotland
• There will be a hearing on the issue in Holyrood on Tuesday
Medics from the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre called for a shake-up of the body which approves medicines for NHS use, amid claims that Scottish patients are three times less likely to get access to new cancer drugs than their counterparts in England.
The assessment of drugs by the Scottish Medicines Consortium “does not work in helping cancer patients access much needed medicines”, a written submission from the consultants said ahead of a Holyrood hearing on the issue tomorrow (Tues).
There are now 19 cancer drugs available on the NHS in England which are not offered to patients in Scotland, campaigners have previously claimed.
Carrie Featherstone, a member of the Beatson West of Scotland Consultants Committee, in a statement to Holyrood’s health committee said: “We feel that the current system requires urgent review and merits further consideration of a similar process to the cancer drug fund.
“We wish to add our support to the concerns already expressed and are asking that evidence be sought from oncologists such as ourselves who see patients on a day to day basis whilst contending with a system which does not work in helping cancer patients access much needed medicines.”