BBC Wales Report
January 10th 2017
A “genuinely ground-breaking” £80m treatment fund has been launched by Wales’ health secretary, promising speedier access to new medicines.
Vaughan Gething said it would be better than the system in England and Scotland and “more consistent”.
Health boards in Wales will be given an extra £16m a year.
It is intended to ensure new drugs become available within a maximum two months of being approved as cost-effective for use in the NHS.
It follows concerns that health boards have been too slow and inconsistent in finding money for new treatments after they have been given the go-ahead.
England and Scotland have established funds to extend access to new medicines but for specific conditions.
In England, there is as a fund for new cancer drugs while Scotland provides extra money to pay for medicines for patients with rare or end-of-life conditions.
WHAT THE FUND MEANS FOR WALES:
• Money is available for drugs to treat any condition, provided they have been recommended as cost effective by experts
• Recommended medicines will be available up to eight weeks earlier and will shorten by a third of the maximum amount of time before health boards have to make a treatment available
• Health boards will be expected to begin introducing medicines once a decision is made and not wait until the end of an appeal period