Saturday, 7 February 2015

Labour will tackle the scandal of cancer patients denied life-saving treatment

The next Labour Government will make sure cancer patients get access to potentially life-saving drugs and treatment through a new annual Cancer Treatments Fund.

The problem with cancer policy under the current Government is that it prioritises one form of cancer treatment over others and places one group of patients ahead of another. This is indefensible when we know surgery and radiotherapy are responsible for nine in ten cases where cancer is cured. It is not right that 40,000 people every year who could benefit from radiotherapy are missing out.

That’s why I’ve backed Labour’s new annual fund which will build on existing provision to improve access not just to drugs but also to radiotherapy and surgery. Labour would also guarantee that any patient in receipt of a drug from the Cancer Drugs Fund would continue to be offered that drug.

The new £330 million Fund will be created by adding £50m from the pharmaceutical industry rebate to the £280m-a-year Cancer Drugs Fund budget. Cancer experts will be consulted on the allocation of the resource and the best mechanisms for delivering it.

I’m proud that Labour is leading the fight against cancer and in government we will ensure that sufferers in Hyndburn will have access to potentially life-saving drugs and treatment.