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£80 million treatment fund to 'speed up access to life-saving medicine'

Credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire/PA Images

A new drug treatment fund will help speed up access to life-saving medicine, according to the Health Secretary.

A total of £80 million will be put into the fund over the next four years.

Newly-approved drugs recommended by the National Institute for Health must be made available two months later.

Twelve million pounds will be made available to health boards immediately, with a further £4 million being made available later.

Our new treatment fund will deliver swift access to innovative new medicines to support people with life-threatening conditions in Wales. New medicines and treatments are being discovered, developed and tested on an almost weekly basis, offering the hope of a cure or a better quality of life for people with a range of life-threatening illnesses.

This significant investment will help remove uncertainties around funding for new treatments in the future and help the Welsh NHS prepare sustainable plans for the introduction of new medicines. Many of these innovative medicines will provide a significant step forward in the treatment of diseases where there has been either, at best, limited treatment options or in the worst case scenario, no treatment options other than symptom alleviation. We expect all patients, for whom access to a new recommended medicine is appropriate, to be able to access the treatment as quickly as possible and within two months. I am delighted that we've been able to bring forward this fund. It will make a huge difference, ensuring NHS Wales is in the best possible position to provide the latest approved drugs.

– VAUGHAN GETHING AM, HEALTH SECRETARY