Wales politics

NHS Wales to provide 'life-prolonging' breast cancer drug

Kadcyla

An "innovative, life-prolonging" breast cancer treatment is set to be routinely available on the Welsh NHS.

Kadcyla, a combination of two drugs, is used on people with HER2-positive tumours that have spread and cannot be surgically removed.

Manufacturer Roche reached a deal to provide the drug - that gives an average six months extra life - in England earlier this month.

The same commercial access deal has now been agreed with NHS Wales.

The drug has a £90,000 price tag per patient, which was deemed too expensive to provide on the NHS, but a confidential agreement was reached in England to provide it at a discounted cost.

Campaigners hailed the move as "monumental", saying it would help about 1,200 women a year.

'Innovative'

A similar deal has now been extended to NHS Wales.

"We are committed to improving the introduction of innovative, evidence-based, treatments, which is why we've introduced an £80m treatment fund in Wales," said Health Secretary Vaughan Gething.

"The fund will be used to ensure patients get fast-access to this innovative, life-prolonging drug."

While it is not clear how much of a discount on the £90,000 price tag has been offered, the deals in Wales and England could also lead to it being made available in Northern Ireland.

Scotland decided in April to pay for the drug.

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