No. I will touch on the issue of drugs, and if there is time afterwards, I will take another intervention.
Many Members are aware that a new generation of promising drug treatments is emerging that has the potential to offer an effective cure for many patients with hepatitis C. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidance recommending two of the drugs earlier this year, and those are now routinely available on the NHS for eligible patients. NICE is developing guidance on three further treatments and has recently consulted on draft guidance. NHS England announced in June that it has made £190 million available this year so that patients with confirmed cirrhosis from hepatitis C can benefit from the new treatment options. In previous debates, I have offered advice to Members on how constituents who are worried that they are not getting access to those options, yet meet the clinical guidelines, can get access. In particular, it is important that patients to talk to their hepatologist.
We estimate that around 550 individuals infected with hepatitis C through historical treatment with NHS-supplied blood and blood products can now access the new treatments under the NHS’s interim commissioning policies. As the Secretary of State committed to on
I appreciate the House’s frustration and I am sorry that I will not be able to let the hon. Member for South Down back in to respond at the end. I understand the sense of urgency and the need for change. In hoping to reach a conclusion as soon as is practicable, I have, through Diana Johnson, offered parliamentarians a meeting ahead of the consultation so that I can hear their concerns and suggestions and so that they can contribute to shaping scheme reform.
Motion lapsed (