Bradshaw welcomes confirmation that drug to protect against breast cancer will be available in Northern Ireland

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has welcomed confirmation, arising from correspondence she has had with the Department of Health, that the drug Anastrozole will be made available to women in Northern Ireland to protect against breast cancer.

Health Paula Bradshaw

The South Belfast MLA, who chairs the All-Party Group on Cancer at Stormont, said: “The drug Anastrozole, which was already recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) six years ago, has already proven immensely successful and is now licensed for use across the UK. It may be targeted for women who have a particular risk, due to family history or mutations identified in genetic tests, to help protect and prevent breast cancer. 

“I am delighted from my correspondence with the Department of Health to receive confirmation that this drug will be introduced in Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK as a cost-effective means of preventing and protecting against breast cancer. This will mean that potentially hundreds of women who know they have elevated risk will be able to have their peace of mind restored.

“It remains the case that there is work to do to ensure that targeting is done in the most appropriate way, and of course it would be helpful to have a Health Committee at Stormont scrutinising that work. This is, nevertheless, unquestionably an extremely welcome breakthrough which will change lives for the better.”