‘Now it’s time to deliver on medicines’ - Rhun ap Iorwerth

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Party of Wales calls for full implementation of recommendations of review on Individual Patient Funding Requests

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Secretary Rhun ap Iorwerth has called for full implementation of the recommendations of the review into the Individual Patient Funding Request System (IPFR) ahead of a government announcement on the review. The independent review was a key concession the Party won from Labour last year following the assembly election.

 The review backs Plaid Cymru on a number of areas:

• That the criteria of patients having to demonstrate ‘exceptionality’ should be abolished.
• That far more national consistency is required through the process,
• That the process itself needed to be less bureaucratic, and more widely understood.

Access to medicines has long been a controversial area of Welsh Politics, with media reports of patients being denied access to treatments a regular occurrence in recent years. The greatest concern has been within the IPFR system, where a postcode lottery has existed within Wales, with cases of patients approved for treatments in one LHB, but not in another.

Plaid Cymru made the reform of this IPFR system a key manifesto commitment.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet secretary for Health, Rhun Ap Iorwerth, said:

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the government responds to the review. Securing this review was important for hundreds of patients who have to go through this process each year, but now is the time for delivery on the changes recommended.

“Replacing the unfair ‘exceptionality’ test with a ‘significant clinical benefit’ test will help more patients obtain the treatment they need. We are also pleased that the review agrees with Plaid Cymru that there have been too many inconsistencies in the past between health boards in Wales, and believe that the review’s proposals for a National Quality Function to monitor panels and with a duty to report inconsistencies will help address this.

“No patient in Wales should ever be denied potentially lifesaving treatment because of bureaucratic hoops and a poorly understood process.”

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