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Beggs welcomes changes to cancer drugs funding

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has welcomed the announcement that cancer patients here are to have the same access to drugs currently being offered to people in the rest of the UK.

Roy Beggs said:

“It was simply immoral that people living here have not been able to avail of many of the life extending cancer drugs that were available and widely prescribed in the rest of the UK.

“It was a post code lottery and unfortunately Northern Ireland was on the losing side for far too long.

“Whilst sadly the number of people being diagnosed with cancer is increasing year on year, so too are the advancements in drugs that can help cure or at least extend patients' lives.

“It is disappointing that the announcement has taken so long, especially as the consultation ended over three years ago, but for patients moving forward at long last some degree of equity has been restored.

“The timing is more than convenient however, coming only hours before local cancer charities were to give evidence to one of Westminster’s Select Committees. I suspect it was likely a case that the Department simply didn’t want MPs from across the UK realising just how unfairly and cruelly patients here were being denied essential drugs.”  

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