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New drugs access 'faster than ever' - Welsh Government

New drugs access 'faster than ever' - Welsh Government
From BBC - January 22, 2018

New medicines are being made available to patients on average only 10 days after being approved, following the introduction of an 80m treatment fund.

The Welsh government is marking the first year of the fund, aimed at speeding up access to new drugs.

A 60-day target was set, but within six months medicines were being made available within 17 days and the average has since reduced even further.

Since last year, 82 new drugs have been approved, including 20 cancer drugs.

The treatment fund was a key Welsh Government manifesto commitment and First Minister Carwyn Jones said reaching and exceeding its 60-day target was a "great achievement and is making a very real difference to people's lives".

The fund - worth 16m a year - was brought in last year, following concerns health boards had been too slow and inconsistent in finding money for new treatments after they had been given the go-ahead.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and advisory body the All Wales Medicine Strategy Group (AWMSG) are involved in approving new medicines, and under the treatment fund recommended drugs are being made available earlier than before.

Previously, officials suggested it could take more than 100 days for an approved medicine to be rolled out.

Health boards are now expected to begin introducing medicines once a decision is made, instead of waiting until the end of any appeal period.

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