Options for increasing patient access to cancer drugs examined

12 September 2018

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hears from representatives of cancer charities and support groups, including Cancer Research UK, Cancer Focus NI, Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK.


Wednesday 12 September in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House

At 9.15 am

  • Margaret Carr, Northern Ireland Public Affairs Manager, Cancer Research UK
  • Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
  • Samantha Nicklin, Assistant Director of Policy and Campaigns, Breast Cancer Now
  • Martin Abrams, Change Delivery Manager, Prostate Cancer UK

Purpose of the session

The session will investigate what options exist for increasing patient access to new cancer drugs and treatments; how funding can be used to improve cancer survival rates and reduce incidences of cancer in Northern Ireland; and how services can be improved in the short term in the absence of Ministerial decision-making and in the long term as part of the wider transformation process.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Northern Ireland, accounting for 29% of deaths in 2016, with a greater prevalence of cases in areas with high levels of deprivation. Northern Ireland has worse survival rates than other parts of the UK, for example 30.9% for men one year after diagnosis compared with 35.4% in England. Unlike other parts of the UK there is no independent mechanism for accessing drugs and treatments outside of NICE recommendations, making it more difficult for patients in Northern Ireland to access new and innovative drugs and treatments that are available to patients elsewhere in the UK. 

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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