Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Patients in Scotland losing out on new cancer drugs

Published on 11/09/2012

Patients living in Scotland are three times less likely to have access to latest cancer drugs on the NHS, say campaigners.

Before new cancer drugs can be freely prescribed on the NHS it is up to government bodies in the UK to decide whether or not they are cost effective.

In England and Wales, this approval is carried out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), but in Scotland it is down to the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC).

Scottish campaigners claim there are 19 cancer drugs available on the NHS in England which are not offered to patients in Scotland. The disparity in access has prompted health charities to call for the SMC to review the way it assesses drugs.

Malignant melanoma drug Zelboraf is just one of the latest drugs that have been approved for use on the NHS in England but not in Scotland, despite cases of malignant melanoma rising 63% in the last decade. Leigh Smith, chair of Melanoma Action and Support Scotland (MASScot), said:

“It’s hugely unfair people in England can access free cancer drugs which people in Scotland cannot. For that I blame the Scottish Government.”

“There needs to be a major rethink of the way the SMC assesses drugs not just by looking at cost but at the benefits they can bring to so many people.”

Health insurance is one way of guaranteeing access to the latest cancer drugs and treatments, even if they have not been approved for use on the NHS.

At the same time, a new report shows that the European Union takes longer to approve new cancer drugs than the FDA does in the US.

The study, published by the US Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), showed that between 2002 and 2011, approval times for oncology therapeutics were 54% longer in the EU than for similar approvals in the US.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  MedicalNHS and Hospitals
Patients in Scotland losing out on new cancer drugsPatients living in Scotland are three times less likely to have access to latest cancer drugs on the NHS, say campaigners. Before new cance    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

A great service from the initial call, to finalising the agreement. I would highly recommend to my family and friends.

Review centre member

Proactive, efficient, and offered me insurance I need. I would say half price I would end up paying if I did it by myself. Many thanks.

Review centre member

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...