Durkan welcomes campaign for equal access to cancer drugs

SDLP Foyle MLA, Mark H Durkan.
SDLP Foyle MLA, Mark H Durkan.

SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan, has welcomed a campaign launched by cancer charities in the North of Ireland to highlight the fact that 39 cancer drugs that are available in England, Scotland and Wales are not readily available here.

The campaign calls on Health Minister Edwin Poots to remove the current prohibitive system for drugs access and establish a Cancer Drugs Fund model.

Mr Durkan said it was imperative the Health Minister listen to the campaign and explained why people living in the North must be able to enjoy the same quality of medical service as everyone else living in every other part of the country.

“The SDLP has been campaigning on this issue at Stormont by lobbying the Health Minister to eradicate the inequality whereby these drugs are not available to people here. We have brought motions to the house, asked questions and urged the Minister to act quickly.

“This campaign is a positive step in trying to ensure that the Minister listens and the SDLP will support it wholeheartedly.

“We join with Cancer Focus and all of the cancer charities here in urging the public to lobby the Health Minister to ensure that wherever you live in the UK, be it Belfast or Brixton, you have the same equal access to life lengthening cancer drugs.”