Question asked by: 
Date asked: 
Sep 2018

Is the postcode lottery still being practised across the UK, including for the new drug niraparib?

Is the postcode lottery still being practised across the UK?
There are still differences in access across the UK
Response by Rachel Downing - Head of Policy, Target Ovarian Cancer
Rachel Downing - Head of Policy

There are  differences how treatments are accessed across the UK as healthcare is a devolved issue (managed by each nation individually).

In the case of niraparib, in England it is available on the Cancer Drugs Fund, which is an England-only fund.  It is available both for women who have a BRCA mutation, and women who do not. Nirapraib is available on the same basis for women in Wales.

In Scotland nirapraib is available to women who do not have a BRCA mutation only. This is because women who have a BRCA mutation in Scotland can access another PARP inhibitor - olaparib. 

Women in Northern Ireland cannot currently access niraparib however the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has recently committed to ensuring that people in Northern Ireland will be able to access niraparib and other treatments recommended by the Cancer Drugs Fund.

Target Ovarian Cancer is committed to ensuring that women have the same access to treatments regardless of where they live. This is a key part of our campaigning work, if you would be interested in supporting our campaigns you can sign up here.