Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Further progress with cancer drugs petition

We discussed Tina McGeever's cancer drugs petition again today and made further progress. The Scottish Government sent us a copy of the draft guidance it plans to issue (later this month?) to NHS boards. This is intended to provide a framework to which boards must align local policies on access to new medicines. It also contains specific advice on what is now called individual patient treatment requests (previously exceptional prescribing requests, a name we didnt like)). The Cabinet Secretary was keen to hear the Committee’s, and Tina McGeever’s, views on this guidance before it was issued given the impetus for all of this has been the petition and the Committee’s inquiry report.
We had previously provided comments (see 2 March meeting) and were pleased that the CS had reacted positively to these as members said earlier today. We think this guidance is a big positive step forward and testament to the effort and hard work Tina has put into this.
We also considered a draft of a new leaflet to go out to patients aimed at providing information on how new medicines are made available. I will be writing to the Cab Sec tomorrow about this (the letter will be published). Lets focus on another important step forward with this petition which will bring further improvements to cancer patients and others.
Frank McAveety MSP, Convener

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