Date lodged: 11 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to reduce reported geographical inequalities in relation to the availability of access to blood cancer treatments.
Answered by: Jeane Freeman 1 April 2019
Through our £100 million cancer strategy, we aim to provide people with any form of cancer equitable access to services for the diagnosis and treatment of their particular disease; the strategy contains specific actions aimed at improving access to treatment (medicines, high quality surgery and radiotherapy) and ensuring that the pathway to care is as equitable as possible across Scotland.
The Scottish Government is currently implementing recommendations from the Montgomery Review of Access to New Medicines to optimise access for Scottish patients to new medicines. This includes improved transparency of decision making by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, better clinician-patient engagement in decision making and developing a new ultra-orphan pathway. We are also looking at what improvements can be made to maximise opportunities for access to off-label drugs for those with cancer.
Health boards are expected to take a person-centred approach to care. This includes discussing what matters most to the patient. Anyone with a cancer diagnosis should discuss their treatment needs with the clinical team responsible for their care to ensure they access the best treatment for them. All NHS Scotland Health boards have appropriate mechanisms in place to enable people to access the treatment that they need, whether in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.