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Improving Availability Of Medicines In Wales

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Professor Philip Routledge, the chair of the All Wales Medicine Strategy Group has published his report on improving the availability of medicines for patients in Wales.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "I welcome this comprehensive report and recommendations from Professor Routledge on improving access to new drugs in Wales.

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"These recommendations, along with measures already under way to speed up the NICE appraisal system, will deliver considerable benefits to patients and provide more consistent access to drugs where NICE or the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) have yet to make a decision or where drugs have been turned down.

"I have now asked Professor Mike Harmer, the Medical Director of NHS Wales, to set up a group to look at how and by when we implement the recommendations.

"In particular, I believe the recommendation on the AWMSG completing the appraisal of medicines not on the NICE programme within six months on receipt of a company submission following a drug's marketing authorisation will speed up access. In line with the recommendations from the Richards' Report in England, I have asked the group to consider the issue of co-payments and core principles on developing cost-sharing schemes with manufacturers to allow more ready access to appropriate new and innovative drugs for patients. The group will work with clinicians, the pharmaceutical industry and NHS managers in taking these recommendations forward.

"This will greatly reduce the inconsistencies that have been seen in accessing some new drugs across Wales and improve the care and outcomes for patients. I believe it will also make the process much simpler and more transparent for the NHS and patients."