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Probe into cancer drugs on the NHS

MSPs are to investigate the availability of cancer drugs on the NHS in Scotland, it has emerged.

The move comes after a terminally ill man told a Holyrood committee that he was having to pay thousands of pounds to fund his own treatment.

Michael Gray, 53, has advanced bowel cancer and needs to use the drug cetuximab to stabilise his condition.

However, Mr Gray, who is from Buckie, Moray, told the committee that he was paying for the drug himself because it had not been approved by his local health board, NHS Grampian.

The health board later decided that they would fund the treatment after he took his case to the Scottish Parliament.

Last month, MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the case, and they have now released details of their remit.

The committee will examine the roles played by various agencies in assessing whether a cancer treatment drug is made available on the NHS, and will also study whether anomalies exist in the current prescribing regime.

And the MSPs will explore whether cancer sufferers and those with other life-threatening conditions are treated equally in terms of the availability of drugs and treatment.

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