1 Aug 2012
Scotland is now the only part of the UK where men cannot access the celebrated prostate cancer drug Abiraterone.
Northern Ireland has followed England and Wales in approving the medication for use, meaning the quality of life for thousands of men there can be enhanced.
The Scottish Conservatives have joined the charity Prostate Cancer UK in calling for the disparity to be addressed.
The current situation is made even more unacceptable by the fact Abiraterone was used so successfully to keep Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi alive.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“Thousands of men across the UK will have their quality of life enhanced thanks to this drug.
“But unfortunately, none of these patients will be in Scotland, which is now the only part of the UK where the drug has not been approved.
“This is an unacceptable disadvantage, and one that must be addressed immediately.
“It also highlights the importance of creating a Cancer Drugs Fund, something the SNP has repeatedly refused to do.
“Even before this drug, priceless to so many men and their families, was approved in England, patients there had the fall back of a Cancer Drugs Fund.
“Thanks to the Scottish Government’s inaction on this, men here don’t even have that as a last resort.”