Private patients get cancer drugs denied to public for first time

Private patients get cancer drugs denied to public for first time

Oncologist John Crown says the move is ‘unprecedented’ and calls on Minister for Health to ‘extend the opportunity of treatment to all patients’

Patients with VHI health insurance are now able to access new cancer drugs that are not available to public patients, creating an official two-tier divide for “the first time”.

VHI, the biggest health insurer in the country, wrote to oncologists in recent days stating that it was extending access to innovative new drugs for patients with melanoma, breast cancer and lung cancer.

The HSE is only funding those drugs for patients with very advanced, or...

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