HC Deb 09 June 2000 vol 351 c400W
Ms Church

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received from health care professionals regarding the funding of taxanes. [118345]

Yvette Cooper

The Department receives communications from members of the public from all walks of life representing a wide range of issues. These include some from health care professionals who have shown concerns regarding the funding of taxanes which has led to so called "postcode prescribing".

We share these concerns and this is the reason why we asked the National Institute of Clinical Guidance (NICE) to review the evidence around the effectiveness of two taxane drugs (Taxol and Taxotere). NICE published guidance on the use of taxanes in advanced ovarian cancer on 5 May and will be publishing guidance on the use of taxanes for advanced breast cancer shortly. We have made an additional 8.9 per cent. cash increase available to health authorities on average this year. This includes the additional £660 million announced in the Budget which will, among other things, enable health authorities to fund positive recommendations from NICE.

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