Research Raises Concerns Of ‘Country Divide’ On Drug Treatment

RCF Releases New Report On Drug Availability


A public law specialist at Irwin Mitchell has called on health authorities across the UK to examine suggestions that a postcode lottery has developed in relation to the availability of drugs across England, Scotland and Wales.

New research from the Rarer Cancers Foundation (RCF) assessed information on drugs available to cancer sufferers and revealed that patients in England are around three times more likely to gain access to key treatments than those in Scotland.

In addition, it was suggested that they are five times more likely to get access to certain treatments than those being treated for cancer in Wales.

According to the report, the £200 million fund for cancer drugs set up by the government has played a part in creating a divide over the availability of treatment.

Social and healthcare specialists at Irwin Mitchell act for patients who have launched legal battles to access vital drugs through the NHS and other bodies.

Mathieu Culverhouse, a public law expert at the firm’s Manchester office, said: ““It is concerning to see this kind of ‘postcode lottery’ develop in relation to treatments which could prove vital for many patients.

“Regardless of location, all patients should have the opportunity to access drugs which are proven to be effective in battles against the most serious conditions.

“We would urge health authorities to examine how this trend has emerged and how more can be done to support patients in Scotland and Wales. No one should be refused treatment on the grounds of where they live and anyone who has concerns over such problems should seek legal advice.”