The Scottish Executive's strongest pledge yet to end the medicines postcode lottery has been welcomed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Scotland.
Reacting to the announcement today (Monday) by Health Minister, Malcolm Chisholm, on measures to ensure that health boards will implement Scottish Medicines Consortium recommendations on the use of new medicines no later than three months after the announcement, Jim Eadie, Director of ABPI Scotland said: "We welcome the strong commitment by the Scottish Executive to ensure that all patients in Scotland have the same access to new, effective treatments regardless of where they live.
"It is good news that the Health Minister has listened to and acted upon the clear concerns expressed by the public, patient groups and the pharmaceutical industry that the failure by health boards to implement positive recommendations is no longer acceptable.
"But systematic and rigorous monitoring of the implementation of SMC guidance to assess if patients are benefiting is essential. It is equally important that health boards put in place robust planning systems to absorb the cost of new medicines, which is a small proportion of the total NHS spend.
"In the long term, allowing patients access to the newest treatments will not only save lives and improve health it will also save the health service money."
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410