asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether £17 million of National Health Service funding has been ring-fenced for the provision of the breast cancer drug Herceptin; and how much National Health Service funding has been ring-fenced in the current fiscal year for the provision of the lymphatic cancer drug MabThera; and
Whether patients with lymphatic cancer can have access to treatment by the drug MabThera, as urgently called for by the Lymphoma Association; and
What financial provision has been made in the years 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06 and 2006–07 for lymphoma sufferers to receive the drug MabThera on the National Health Service in the following localities: Leicester, Shrewsbury, Cambridge, Ipswich, Sheffield, Swansea, Basingstoke, Cardiff, Northwood (Middlesex), Oxford, Southampton and London.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on the use of trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of breast cancer on
NICE recommended that trastuzumab (Herceptin) is used in certain circumstances for women with breast cancer and made a limited recommendation on the use of rituximab (MabThera) for lymphoma patients in a specific state of their disease.
£407 million in 2002–03 and £570 million in 2003–04 is being made available to support implementation of the Cancer Plan, including positive recommendations from NICE on cancer drugs.
Local services have freedom to decide where National Health Service resources are best spent. However, directions have been issued obliging health authorities and primary care trusts to provide appropriate funding for treatments recommended by NICE. From