Commenting on the Scottish
Government’s proposals on access to new medicines, Head of Policy
& Campaigns at Prostate Cancer UK, Drew Lindon, said:
"Prostate Cancer UK has long argued that the current system for
approving new medicines in Scotland requires greater transparency,
clarity and consistency. Whilst there’s much in today’s report we
welcome – such as proposals to improve access to end of life
treatments and reform of the IPTR process – it remains unclear that
enough is being done to put patients at the heart of the
"For example, whilst it is to be welcomed that SMC drug
appraisal meetings will now be open to the public, it would appear
that patients will still be effectively shut out of the process.
They can watch proceedings, but will they be permitted to
contribute or provide written evidence? Equally, patient
interest groups - such as Prostate Cancer UK - can now attend, but
will we be permitted to contribute to the meetings?
"In England, patients, patient interest groups and their
nominated clinical specialists can give both oral and written
evidence to inform drug appraisal meetings. After today’s proposed
reforms it remains unclear whether their Scottish counterparts will
be afforded the same opportunities. What do people in England have
to deserve these rights that people in Scotland don’t?
"The Government’s proposals are due to be debated in the
Scottish Parliament later this week. We would urge politicians of
all parties to call on the Government to strengthen these proposals
to put patients at the heart of both the drug appraisal system and
the new system for Value Based Pricing. Only by so doing can we
deliver the genuinely open and transparent system that the people
of Scotland both require and deserve. Prostate Cancer UK will not
rest until this has been delivered, and remain committed to working
with all relevant stakeholders to make this a reality."