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Additional funds needed after Herceptin announcement

11 November, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA for Mid-Ulster, Geraldine Dougan, has said that while she welcomes Shaun Woodward's announcement today that Herceptin may be made prescribed to women with early stage beast cancer where it is clinically appropriate.

She said, " I know this announcement will be welcomed by many women and their families and, in particular, Patricia McPeake and Roisin McCann, with whom I have been working closely over recent weeks. I know that this has been an extremely worrying and traumatc time for both of them.

"However, the absence of any additional funding to cover the prescription of Hercetin raises a question as to just how widely avai'able this drug will actually be. The reality is that there is only a very limited budget of available for the prescription of such specialised drugs in the North. That is why in the case of other medical conditions, such as MS, there are already substantial numbers of people awaiting to prescribed medications like Beta Interferon. Without authorising the release of substantial and additional funding for specialist medications, Shaun Woodward is unfairly raising people's expectations. " ENDS

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