The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has today approved the use of olaparib, by NHS Scotland, as a routine relapsed ovarian cancer treatment for women with a BRCA gene mutation.
The approval marks the first time the drug has been recommended to be routinely funded on the NHS.
In England and Wales olaparib is only available to patients facing cancer for the third time. This means a number of patients who would benefit still won't be able to access the drug.
Katherine Taylor, Chief Executive of research charity Ovarian Cancer Action, said: “The SMC’s decision to approve the routine use of olaparib is great news for patients in Scotland but begs the question – why is the rest of the UK falling behind? Why the postcode lottery?
“All women with ovarian cancer deserve the right to access to effective, proven treatments. The NHS now needs to make this treatment available to all of the patients who so desperately need it.”