Welsh women denied cervical cancer drug on NHS - (BBC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Charities criticised a decision by All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group to recommend against coverage of Roche's cervical cancer drug Avastin, BBC News reported Wednesday.

  • Supporters contend the drug can prolong survival by about four months on average.

  • "It is extremely disappointing to learn that women with advanced staged cervical cancer are faced with a postcode lottery over treatment," remarked Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust chief executive Robert Music, adding "it is simply not fair that women in Wales are not going to be granted the same access as women in the rest of the UK."

  • "While I accept NHS resources are not finite, a terminal cervical cancer diagnosis already brings extreme devastation and I am unhappy that differences in criteria for assessing medicines is leading to women in Wales facing a further challenge," said Music, continuing "I urge for the decision to be reconsidered."

  • "Where a treatment is not routinely available in the Welsh NHS, but a clinician thinks that his or her patient is likely to gain significant clinical benefit from the treatment, the clinician may make an Individual Patient Funding Request to the health board, on the patient's behalf," a government spokesperson noted.

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