A SKIN cancer drug which can extend the lives of patients by up to five years has been denied to patients in Scotland. Even though the treatment can be accessed by patients in England.
The Scottish Medicines Consortium refused the Ipilimumab drug on the grounds it was too expensive, despite being described as a “wonder drug” for those with severe cases of the cancer.
And while the medicine is not routinely available on the NHS in England, it is accessible through their Cancer Drug Fund, something the SNP refuses to introduce in Scotland.
Skin cancer can be detected early by repeated check-ups
The Scottish Conservatives are calling for the creation of such a fund, and would set aside £10 million to help Scottish cancer patients who cannot be assisted by usual NHS treatments. Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “This is yet another example of why Scotland badly needs its own Cancer Drugs Fund.
“The SNP needs to act on this issue now because the sooner it is brought in, the more lives in Scotland could be both saved and extended.
“Skin cancer is a growing problem as we have seen from recent statistics, yet patients in England are enjoying greater benefits thanks to the drug fund.
“Prostate cancer patients are already missing out on a medicine which improves the quality of their lives – even though it was deemed good enough for the Lockerbie bomber.
“Now we risk putting skin cancer patients at a similar disadvantage.”