News | MCKINNEY: Health Minister must announce Cancer Drugs Fund model

MCKINNEY: Health Minister must announce Cancer Drugs Fund model

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney says the public will be sorely disappointed if the Health Minister does not announce soon a Cancer Drugs Fund model for Northern Ireland.

Following a roundtable discussion in Belfast on access to Cancer Medicines and ahead of a debate on the issue in Stormont next week Mr McKinney said that the Minister must now publicly accept the weight of argument and act to put a Cancer Drugs Fund model in place.

He said:

“A huge inequality has arisen following the introduction of a Cancer Drugs Fund model in England, Scotland and Wales which means that nearly forty drugs are not available here which are elsewhere.  That inequality is compounded given that many of those drugs are developed and trialled here in the first place.

“Not one of the arguments that have been put forward by campaigners have been successfully rebuffed by the Health Minister who has instead sought to drag in issues of prescription charges or welfare reform.  Essentially those in favour have won the argument and the Minister must act and act now.

“A further consideration is the future of our world class cancer drugs research which needs access to the drugs to help develop further pioneering treatment. 

“Patients shouldn’t take no for an answer. The public won’t take no for an answer and neither will we in the SDLP.”

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