Promise kept on New Treatment Fund
The new treatment fund was one of Welsh Labour’s top six pledges in the 2016 National Assembly election.
It is an £80m five-year fund to help speed up access to treatments and drugs for life-threatening and life-limiting new medicines. £16m is available in health boards and NHS trusts every year through the fund.
The fund is celebrating its third anniversary.
Since introducing the new treatment fund there has been a huge reduction in the time between the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) or the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) – the two bodies which approve medicines for use in the Welsh NHS – recommending a medicine and it becoming available for use.
Before the fund was introduced, health boards had three months to make a new medicine available (but it often took longer); the new deadline is two months.
But the fund has reduced the amount of time it takes for new medicines to become available to an average of just 13 days.
By December 2019, the fund had provided fast access to 213 medicines, regardless of where patients live in Wales.
- The fund now covers 213 medicines for more than 100 different medical conditions such as:
- Breast cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Kidney cancer
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Prostate cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
- This means the latest life-saving and life-changing medicines for people with a huge range of diseases are now available faster than ever in the Welsh NHS, wherever people live in Wales.