Patients with rare medical conditions are to benefit from a new multi-million pound fund set up by the Scottish Government.
The £21 million will be invested to pay for the cost of medicines known as “orphan drugs” – designed for illnesses which affect fewer than one in 2000 people.
The new fund has been put in place following interim advice from Professor Charles Swainson, who is examining the current Individual Patient Treatment Request (IPTR) system in the NHS in Scotland as part of an ongoing review of access to new medicines.
IPTRs are used by health boards to access drugs which have not been approved for widespread use by the Scottish Medicines Consortium.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “It is only right that Scottish patients with rare conditions have access to innovative medicines which are clinically justified and that they are not disadvantaged due to the very high cost of these treatments.”