First Minister Carwyn Jones has hailed the success of the £80m New Treatment Fund in slashing the times new life-changing medicines become available on the NHS in Wales.
On the first anniversary of the flagship scheme, the First Minister revealed the average time for recommended new medicines to be made available was now only 10 days, way ahead of the 60 day deadline.
During a visit to Llandough Hospital, the First Minister met patients who have benefited from receiving Migalastat, a new medicine to treat Fabry disease, a serious and progressive condition that causes severe pain and can greatly affect people’s quality of life. Migalastat allows people with Fabry disease freedom from the frequent hospital visits required with the previous treatment options, enabling them to live a more normal life.
The First Minister said:
“The New Treatment Fund is one of our flagship projects and a key Welsh Government commitment. We are investing £80m over 5 years to ensure patients with life-threatening conditions can get much faster access to the latest medicines. Reaching and far exceeding our 60 day target is a great achievement and is making a very real difference to people’s lives.
“This significant investment has removed uncertainties over funding and will ensure NHS Wales is in the best position to provide the latest recommended medicines. Many of these provide a significant step forward in the treatment of diseases that, until now, have had few or no treatment options. It is clear from the patients I have spoken to today that this fund is helping to transform lives.”
Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, said:
“I am delighted with the progress achieved in the first year of the New Treatment Fund. Patients can now access 82 new medicines, much more quickly than they would have, had the fund not been in place. These include medicines to treat Crohn’s disease, uveitis, cystic fibrosis, psoriasis, asthma, osteoporosis and Gauchers disease. More than 20 new medicines have been made available to treat a wide range of cancers including cancers of the breast, head and neck, lung, colon, thyroid gland and pancreas.
“I look forward to seeing the fund continuing to promptly deliver the latest, innovative medicines to patients who need them, making a real difference to their lives.”