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NHS Wales is being criticised for not providing a life saving drug which is available in other parts of the UK


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The Welsh NHS has been criticised by campaigners who say it’s 'not fair' that a life-prolonging drug is not available to women with terminal cervical cancer despite it being available to NHS patients in England and Scotland.

Calling the situation a postcode lottery, chief executive of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust said:  

"It is simply not fair that women in Wales are not going to be granted the same access as women in the rest of the UK.

“While I accept NHS resources are not finite a terminal cervical cancer diagnosis already brings extreme devastation and I am unhappy that differences in criteria for assessing medicines is leading to women in Wales facing a further challenge. I urge for the decision to be reconsidered.”

The drug Bevacizumab, also known as Avastin, which is used alongside chemotherapy doesn’t cure cervical cancer but it can increase a patient's survival time by around four months according to reports.

Responding to the heavy criticism, a Welsh Government spokesman said:

"Where a treatment is not routinely available in the Welsh NHS, but a clinician thinks that his or her patient is likely to gain significant clinical benefit from the treatment, the clinician may make an Individual Patient Funding Request to the health board, on the patient's behalf."

In 2014, an estimated 3,224 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK with 164 in Wales.  

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