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The positive recommendation and acceptance of the drug for us within NHS Scotland comes at a time where the SMC is under increased scrutiny to accept and approve more medicines for patients suffering from various forms of cancer. This news has been long awaited by advanced kidney cancer patients who now have access to this treatment option.
Kidney cancer incidence rates in the UK are higher than average for other places in Europe, meaning that this treatment is important for everyone who is suffering from the condition.
Afinitor has been approved within the NHS in England for a while longer, and is used to treat renal cell carcinoma. The drug works by reducing the blood flow to the cancer which in turn slows down its growth, but it also prevents growth proteins within the cancerous cells from encouraging cells to spread. The drug is often used with patients whose condition has not improved with other forms of treatment. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults and can usually be treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.Bob Doris MSP, the Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee stated: “Access to cancer medicines in Scotland has been an important topic for the past few years. I am delighted that clinicians now have access to another treatment option. It is also encouraging to see that this decision together with the changes recently made to the SMC processes are starting to show an increase in the number of treatments available to patients.”