13 Aug 2012
The Scottish Medicines Consortium today approved the prostate cancer drug Abiraterone for use.
Scotland was the only part of the UK where the drug was unavailable on the NHS, meaning sufferers in the advanced stages of the disease were at a significant disadvantage.
The Scottish Conservatives joined charities in calling for the SNP to approve the drug, which was used to help extend the life of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, but denied to hundreds of patients in Scotland.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“It’s a welcome decision, but not before time.
“This drug – which was used to keep the Lockerbie bomber alive so successfully – should have been available long before now.
“It has been an injustice that Scottish men have been the only ones in the UK not to have had access to this.
“That wouldn’t have been so bad if the SNP dropped its opposition to a Cancer Drugs Fund, which would have at least made Abiraterone available through those means.
“Sufferers of other cancers are still in this predicament, and a £10 million fund similar to that which exists in England would make a huge difference to so many lives.
“I’m glad the SMC has finally seen sense on this issue, as are patients and their families across Scotland.”