– in the Scottish Parliament on 17th December 2015.
3. To ask the Scottish Government when it will introduce the new peer-approved clinical system to replace the individual patient treatment request system. (S4O-05196)
A pilot of the peer-approved clinical system has been introduced and the initial outcomes from that pilot will inform further roll-out. As the member will be aware, the revised individual patient treatment request system has provided substantially increased access, ahead of a body of decisions from the Scottish Medicines Consortium under its new process.
I am led to believe that the peer-approved system was promised for May 2015. Given that the individual patient treatment request system was extended and given the new guidance on dropping exceptionality, what monitoring has the Scottish Government done to ensure that the postcode lottery has been eliminated?
We keep a close eye on such matters. As we review the new SMC process, which I said previously we would do at the end of a year and we are doing now, we will have an opportunity to look at all those matters.
It is important to note that the reformed individual patient treatment request system has resulted in great improvements in patient access across Scotland, ahead of the body of decisions from the SMC. For example, in 2012-13, before any policy changes were made, around 50 patients in Scotland accessed orphan, ultra-orphan and end-of-life drugs through that route. In 2014-15, the equivalent number was around 500. That is why further changes are being carefully tested before roll-out.
It is in everyone’s interests if patient access is facilitated through good-quality submissions, with a fair offering on price, from the pharmaceutical industry to the SMC. As I said, the review of the new approach is providing a good opportunity to look at the impact of the changes.
Question 4, in the name of Ken Macintosh, has not been lodged. The member has provided an explanation.