New figures published today show patients in Wales suffering from a range of rare types of cancer have benefited from access to new medicines for their condition.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths published the data in response to a claim there were 24 cancer treatments which were not available in Wales.
She said 16 of the treatments had been prescribed in the previous year for more than 200 people, and while there had been no requests for the remaining eight medicines, they were still available to patients.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“It has been alleged that 24 cancer treatments cited in a report by the Rarer Cancers Foundation are not available in Wales.
“The figures I’m publishing today show this categorically to be not the case. In fact, 232 patients received these treatments in the last year. To claim, therefore, the drugs aren’t available for patients in Wales is completely untrue.
“In Wales, all these drugs are available to patients under our Individual Patient Funding Request route, which assesses whether patients would benefit from the treatment based on the clinical evidence and demonstration of exceptionality.
“The fact of the matter is that the Cancer Drugs Fund is a purely short-term measure based on political expediency which creates false hope, as illustrated by an underspend of £150m out of a total of £200m in the previous year.”
“It is also untrue that patients in Wales are five times less likely to get access to newer cancer medicines, as has been alleged. There is no single cancer medicine with a ban on it being prescribed and all medicines with a marketing authorisation are available in Wales.”