Breast cancer campaigners call for drugs deal for Scotland

A deal needs to be struck on access to a key breast cancer drug in Scotland to give women 'more time to live', campaigners have warned.

Early detection of breast cancer is key in fighting the disease

The Scottish Government has revealed its officials and the NHS are in talks with the manufacturer of breast cancer drug Perjeta, which has been rejected three times for routine use on the NHS in Scotland but is available south of the Border.

Charity Breast Cancer Now said the drug, also known as pertuzumab, can prolong the lives of women with incurable HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer by up to 16 months.

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It was made available for routine use on the NHS in England last month, having previously only been accessible through the Cancer Drugs Fund, but is not yet available on the same basis in Scotland.

The drug was rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) for a third time in June 2017 on the basis it was not cost-effective.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Decisions made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) are independent of ministers and Parliament.

“Changes made by the Scottish Government in recent years, and the commitment of significant investment, has resulted in greatly improved access to new medicines – particularly for cancer – and we are naturally keen that this continues.”