Friday, 7 November, 2003
Senior health managers are meeting as part of efforts to tackle the problem of "postcode prescribing".
Agreement is being sought for a national system which would allow patients to receive drug treatment regardless of where they live.
Health boards around Scotland try to provide care which suits their local community.
But financial constraints can make some boards more reluctant to provide expensive drug programmes.
In recent months this led to Greater Glasgow NHS Board refusing the drug beta interferon to some patients with multiple sclerosis.
Now senior NHS officials want to resolve this problem by creating a level playing field across Scotland.
They aim to bring about a national system for the introduction of new drugs, giving patients everywhere equal access regardless of cost.
Health economists warn the measure only goes so far and will not solve
other regional variations, like access to medical experts and treatment
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