- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Press Releases
Mike Hedges AM and David Rees AM welcome news that New advanced drugs available on Welsh NHS with £14m investment
Patients in Wales will have access to new drugs that treat Hepatitis C and those with a rare life-threatening disorder of the immune system after the Welsh Government announced almost £14m of funding.
The £13.8 million, announced by Finance Minister Jane Hutt, will allow the Welsh NHS to treat more patients with a number of medicines approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group earlier this year.
Mike Hedges AM said….. ‘ I welcome this news which makes these lifesaving drugs available to people in need of treatment. I have met people who have contracted Hepatitis C through blood transfusions and these treatments will allow them the greatest chances to improve their conditions.
David Rees AM said…. I agree with my colleague Mike Hedges in welcoming these new treatments to the NHS. I welcome the Welsh Governments commitment to supporting new but relatively expensive treatments such as these’
They include sofosbuvir, which is used in the treatment of hepatitis C. This new, oral treatment avoids lengthy courses of injections and has a very high cure rate and will help thousands of people including those infected through contaminated blood transfusions.
The new investment will also give patients access to eculizumab a treatment for the extremely rare life-threatening immune disorder atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, known as aHUS, reducing the need for dialysis or kidney transplants in these patients.
In January, the NHS drug advisory body NICE ruled that eculizumab could give people with a rare life-threatening immune disorder an extra 25 years of life. Initial estimates indicate there may be up to 14 patients in Wales who could benefit from the treatment which costs around £340,000 per patient per year.
Three further hepatitis C treatments, daclatasvir, simeprevir, and ledipasvir will also be made available through this major investment..
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“I am pleased to announce this significant new investment, which will give patients in Wales access to these advanced treatments.
“Patients with hepatitis C virus will now be able to access new treatments that in many cases will cure the individual.
“Those suffering with the extremely rare aHUS will now have access to the high-cost but life-changing eculizumab, which will improve their quality of life dramatically.”
“These drugs will make a real difference to the lives of those affected by these distressing and potentially life-threatening conditions.”
Notes to editors:
Nice decision on Eculizumab:
New Treatments for Hepatitis C
Four new medicines have been appraised by NICE and the Welsh appraisal body, All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG), and recommended for use in the treatment of hepatitis C.
The medicines are:
• daclatasvir (Daklinza®)
• simeprevir (Olysio®)
• sofosbuvir (Sovaldi®)
• Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni®)