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Cancer patients in Wales, UK, have been granted greater access to life-prolonging treatment after four drugs were approved for funding on the NHS.
The ruling over Sutent, Avastin, Nexavar and Torisel was made while the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) looks into prescription practices surrounding the drugs.
Wales’s health minister, Edwina Hart, told NHS chiefs to provide the drugs to patients when appropriate until NICE makes its final decision on the drugs – expected to be in March.
Mrs Hart last month announced a review of funding requests for Sutent after concerns were raised about inconsistencies in prescribing the drug.
She said: “I think it is unacceptable for these patients to be kept waiting any longer and I am instructing local health boards to provide these drugs for kidney cancer to appropriate patients with immediate effect.”
Funding decisions in Wales are down to the Welsh Assembly government and will not affect the outcome of the review, NICE announced.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s general manager for Wales, Cath Lindley, welcomed the decision calling it “fantastic news” for kidney cancer patients in Wales.
Copyright Press Association 2009