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Health Minister: Why a Cancer Drugs Fund is wrong for Wales

The Welsh Government will continue to focus its spend on cancer treatment – £4.50 more per head of population than in England – on early diagnosis and consistent, evidence-based access to cancer drugs, Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths said.
Thursday 24 May 2012

Speaking at the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group 10th anniversary conference, the Minister said a Cancer Drugs Fund for Wales would not be the right course of action.

Lesley Griffiths said:

"I feel strongly a Cancer Drugs Fund would not be in the best interests of people in Wales. We already have robust mechanisms in place to ensure access to non-approved medicines is consistent for patients in exceptional circumstances.

"There is no consensus among senior clinicians either in England or Wales a Cancer Drugs Fund works. Many believe it operates inconsistently and takes money away from other services and equally deserving diseases.

"There is no evidence a Cancer Drugs Fund improves the quality of life or survival rates. The available evidence does show survival is more closely linked to early diagnosis while surgery and radiotherapy are more likely to influence survival, and it is on these issues we should focus.

"We believe it would create unacceptable inequities in our health system, and undermine the essential work of the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group to deliver evidence based advice on new treatments.

"For all these reasons, I think the question should be why would the Welsh Government introduce a Cancer Drugs Fund, when everything is telling us the responsible way forward is the evidence based approach we are taking."

 

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Health and social care 24 May 2012 Improving health Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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