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UK divided over cancer drugs for patients without health insurance

Published on 31/08/2011

Patients without health insurance in Wales are five times less likely to have access to key cancer drugs than those in England. Additionally, patients in Scotland without health insurance are three times less likely to have access to the same cancer drugs.

The data was gathered by the Rarer Cancer Foundation (RCF) from health trusts in England about the types of drugs prescribed through the Government’s Cancer Drugs Fund. The data was then compared with exceptional case approvals for the same drugs in Scotland and Wales.

There are now 23 cancer treatments which are not routinely available in Scotland which may be available in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund, and 24 treatments not available in Wales.

The Government Cancer Drugs Fund allows patients without health insurance to access drugs which are not approved for widespread use on the NHS. The fund is worth £200 million a year.

Andrew Wilson, chief executive of the RCF, said:

“The cancer drugs fund is great news for people in England and has already benefited thousands of patients."

“However, a devastating divide has opened up with Scotland and Wales.”

The RCF said that if levels of access were the same across the UK then 248 more patients without health insurance would benefit each year in Scotland instead of 74. Additionally, 159 cancer patients in Wales would gain access to life extending treatment instead of 31.

Andrew Wilson said: “People in Scotland and Wales will want to know why their chances of accessing a life-extending cancer drug are so much lower than their neighbours in England.”

Private medical cover holders can sometimes have access to expensive drugs that are not available on the NHS. Compare health insurance policies online with ActiveQuote now to make sure you are covered for cancer treatment.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
UK divided over cancer drugs for patients without health insurancePatients without health insurance in Wales are five times less likely to have access to key cancer  drugs than those in England. Add    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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