The British Liver Trust is delighted that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted the Trust’s evidence on behalf of patients and agreed to the use of Sorafenib, a drug for patients with a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently there is no other treatment available and this medicine helps improve the quality of their life and alleviate some of the symptoms. The average age of death for people suffering from the condition is only 58 and so any increase in length of life is very important.
However the decision provides another example of the inequalities of NHS care that can exist between the devolved countries. NICE, the SMC’s equivalent in England rejected the use of Sorafenib in 2010.
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust said, “Whilst it’s fantastic news that the Scottish Medicines Consortium has today agreed to the use of Sorafenib, the decision highlights a two tier system where patients in England are denied access to this treatment that can improve their end of life care.”
You can see full details of the announcement from the Scottish Medicines Consortium: www.scottishmedicines.org.uk/About_SMC