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£16m invested in fund which speeds up access to life saving medicines

Written by on 8th March 2021

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething has today confirmed a further £16m to extend a scheme to speed up access to new medicines in Wales.

The New Treatment Fund has enabled quicker access to over 265 medicines to treat more than 100 health conditions since it was established by the Welsh Government in 2017.

It has cut the average time it takes for newly-recommended medicines to become available to patients by 85 per cent, from 90 to 13 days.

The Fund has sped up access to medicines recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG). The money announced today will ensure the Fund continues until April 2022.

Treatment for health conditions including Cancer, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis  and Cystic Fibrosis have all been made available much quicker to patients thanks to the £80m fund. As well as the cost of medicines, the New Treatment Fund covers the costs of equipment needed to administer a medicine and the cost of holding extra clinics to treat and monitor patients.

Medicines including Sarilumab and Tocilizumab, made available via the New Treatment Fund to treat arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are also now able to be rapidly deployed by the NHS for use in the management of COVID-19.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said: “Since we established the New Treatment Fund it has helped to prolong and improve the lives of thousands of people across Wales .Patients and their families are benefiting from improved access to life saving and life changing medicines. I’m pleased to confirm the extension of the Fund which reaffirms our commitment to ensure that people receive the latest recommended treatments quickly, no matter where they live in Wales.”