Scottish Govt unveils £21 million fund
Scottish Government has launched £21 million fund to improve to help improve the access to treating people with rare medical conditions.
The Health Secretary Alex Neil announced the launch of the fund at the same time as the Scottish Medicines Consortium decided not to recommend cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco for the use in NHS.
The drug, also known as ivacaftor, was made available on the NHS in England at the beginning of the year. The new fund will only cover the cost of medicines whose routine use has been rejected by the SMC.
Mr. Neil also said, “It is only right that Scottish patient with rare conditions have access to the innovative medicines which are clinically justified and that they are not disadvantaged on account of very high costs of these treatments. He also said, “I am therefore pleased to confirm today that the Scottish Government will set up a fund which will ensure that the cost of successful new individual patient treatment requests for orphan medicines are met.”
A separate review is examining if the IPTR arrangements can be improved with the new fund established after interim advice from Professor Charles Swainson- a former medical director at NHS Lothian who is now an independent consultant.
The £21 million is available from March through to April next year and will help in covering the cost of successful requests under the IPTR system. Mr. Neil also said “This fund bridges the period to the establishment of next year’s value-based pricing for medicines and any changes that are made following the completion of the ongoing access to new medicines review.
The cost of ivacaftor in NHS Scotland would be around £180,000 per year for each patient for life.
Ed Owen, chief executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, welcomed the Scottish Government's decision to make "additional funding available to enable Kalydeco to be made available to those that need it". He said: "We now appeal to Vertex, the manufacturers of Kalydeco, and the NHS in Scotland to work together to reach a fair and affordable solution as soon as possible.
Family doctors should give COVID vaccine, survey finds
A new survey has found that doctors believe patients would be more open to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if it was administered by a trusted doctor.
The research by Sermo, a social media network for clinicians, was carried out among 3,329 physicians from around the world. It found that nearly 70% said that if they could administer the vaccine to reluctant patients themselves, they believe they would feel more comfortable about getting vaccinated.
Additionally, nearly half of the people surveyed said that their ability to discuss the benefits of vaccination and answer patients' questions during appointments could help increase their willingness to get vaccinated.
The survey results are released as infection rates rise among people who have not received the vaccine. In the US Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the latest surge "a pandemic of the unvaccinated".
Sermo’s COVID-19 Real Time Barometer also showed 65% of physicians believe that vaccinating children is essential for long-term control of the virus. Other findings include:
* 55% of physicians say their patients are more reluctant to vaccinate their children than themselves due to fear of adverse effects
* 60% believe a one-dose vial that administered at their office during appointments would be beneficial in continuing to administer vaccinations
* 81% believe that paediatricians and family doctors are in the best position to vaccinate children
Respondents also said resources and information should be created to educate their patient base and parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.
“Our survey reveals that physicians worldwide feel strongly that they can and perhaps, should, play a very important role in driving COVID vaccination uptake,” said Peter Kirk, Sermo's CEO.
“The trust they have built with their patients, combined with the ability to counsel, answer questions, ease concerns and provide assurances could help patients overcome their hesitancy to be vaccinated. Allowing physicians to vaccinate their own patients has the potential to increase vaccine rates.”