Specialist Drugs

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of Iris Robinson Iris Robinson DUP, Strangford

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what additional funding was provided in 2003 for new specialist prescribed drugs for (a) rheumatoid arthritis and (b) multiple sclerosis.

Photo of Angela Smith Angela Smith Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)

The additional £3 million allocated to Health and Social Services Boards in the 2002–03 financial year towards the costs of new specialist drug treatments including those for rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis has been made recurrent in the current financial year 2003–04 and increased to £3.1 million to cover inflation.

A further £100,000 made available in September 2002 specifically for infrastructure support for beta interferon treatment for multiple sclerosis has also been made recurrent thus relieving pressures elsewhere in these drugs budgets.

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