Patients in East Kilbride getting fast access to new medicines

Linda Fabiani MSP has congratulated NHS Lanarkshire on excellent work in enabling East Kilbride patients to access new medicines following a Scottish Government review of how NHS Scotland deals with new medicines.

The report, ‘New Medicines Reviews 2013’, showed that patients in Scotland are able to access a higher proportion of new medicines than is the case in Canada, Sweden, and the rest of the UK.  Medicines are authorised for use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium, a Scotland-wide body, but clinicians and other professionals at health board level have the final say on their introduction locally and the review recommends that this continue.

Research by Healthcare Improvement Scotland tested how quickly health boards decide on the introduction of new medicines and how quickly they make these decisions known.

The researchers found that NHS Lanarkshire was

  • the only Scottish health board to approve use of all 23 new medicines approved for use in NHS Scotland between April to September 2012
  • one of only four health boards to take all decisions within 90 days of medicines being authorised for use
  • one of only four health boards to publicise all decisions on its web site within 14 days

Linda said:

“When patients are diagnosed with serious illness, they want to know the NHS will provide them with access to the best treatment for their condition.  This is especially the case if the illness is life-threatening.

“It is important that effective new medicines are introduced as quickly as possible, but this must be done in a way that fits with the delivery of services at a local level.

“I am pleased to see NHS Lanarkshire have been able to respond quickly to new medicines becoming available and have good procedures in place to let patients and doctors know of their introduction.

“I congratulate and thank all those involved in delivering such excellent results.

“Coming on top of the decision to renew Hunter Health Centre, this confirms the benefit East Kilbride gains from this Government’s decision to prioritise the health budget.”

Notes

Taken from: The availability of new medicines for patients in Scotland: The role of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) April 2013 http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0042/00421354.pdf

In October 2012, Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed there were over 12,000 market authorisations for all forms and strengths of Prescription Only Medicines (POM) containing 1500 different active substances available in the UK for regular use and the SMC consider about 60-80 of these each year.

(According to recent research) The proportion of positive recommendations was higher than Canada, the rest of the UK or Sweden. This report found that the SMC demonstrated an increased speed in appraisal for novel medicines when compared to other submissions and was the only country included in the study where this was the case.

On 13 February 2012, Scottish Government published SGHD/CMO(2012), Guidance to Further Strengthen the Safe and Effective use of New Medicines Across the NHS in Scotland, which detailed further measures to strengthen previous guidance…

While decisions on the use of drugs within NHS Scotland are made by the SMC, these decisions are advisory and NHS Boards are expected to take full account of SMC advice to make local decisions about SMC “accepted” medicines quickly.

A list of medicines ‘accepted’ or ‘accepted for restricted use’ by SMC from April to September 2012 was compiled, totalling 23 medicines.

NHS Lanarkshire

NHS Lanarkshire was 100% compliant with making their Area Drug and Therapeutic Committee (ADTC) decisions on the 23 medicines within 90 days. 100% (23 out of 23) of the ADTC decisions on the 23 medicines were published on the board’s website within 14 days of the ADTC decision being made.

NHS Lanarkshire’s website provided good access to the Lanarkshire formulary. However, this was only found after searching for ‘ADTC’ or ‘formulary’ on the board website….

Links were also provided to the NHS Lanarkshire ADTC bulletins. NHS Lanarkshire also displayed their ADTC decisions in a manner consistent with the CMO guidance.

Of the 23 medicines, 23 were included on the NHS Lanarkshire formulary.

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