These commentaries by John Macgill represent his opinions only and not those of any Ettrickburn client.

VACANCY Reporter/Researcher: Health and Care Policy in Scotland

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Practice Pharmacist’s Perspective

What Matters to You? Communication in Pharmacy

Prescribing in Mental Illness – A Patient’s Perspective

Focusing the Vision: Dr Rose Marie Parr on the new strategy for Scottish pharmacy

All the things that could go wrong - looking ahead to the SNP conference

Ask Once, Get Help Fast? Pharmacy and Mental Health

Automation and Delegation in Pharmacy: Understanding the Moving Parts

Pharmacy First in Forth Valley One Year On

Initiatives Highlight Potential of Community Pharmacy

Trying to concentrate on the day job

Health and the Local Elections – a strange silence

The Pharmacist Will See You Now – The Growth of GP Pharmacy

Montgomery’s Review – Dr Brian Montgomery answers questions on access to new medicines in Scotland

An afternoon with SMC

Pharmacists at SMC

SMC – are drug firms voting with their feet?

Radical Surgery on the Horizon for Scotland’s NHS

The Future’s Bright – in General Practice

Community Pharmacy in a Changing Environment

Disclosing payments to doctors – has Sir Malcolm done the pharma industry a favour?

Health and Care in the First Minister’s Programme for Government

CMO: Scotland’s pharmacists “absolutely ideally placed” to practice Realistic Medicine

Profile: Maree Todd – MSP and Pharmacist

Scottish Parliament Health Committee Work Programme

Scotland’s new NHS – a Summer of Speculation

Scotland’s New Health Committee

Two million voices in Scotland – is integration the big opportunity to listen?

Medicines – levelling the playing field

Key appointment raises the bar for health & social care partnerships

What did our new MSPs do before?

SMC says no then NICE says yes – three times

SNP promises single formulary and a review of Scotland’s NHS

More Generous than the CDF – but less transparent

Comparison of Funds: New Medicines v Cancer Drugs

Bonfire of the Boards? SNP signals NHS Review

A tribute to five retiring MSPs

New Medicines Review - Health Committee sends findings to Government

Medicines New & Old in the Scottish Cancer Strategy

Great Ambitions, Slow Progress – New Models of Care in Scotland

Scottish Minsters Demand Up-Front Medicine Price Negotiation

Opportunity and Disappointment: MSPs Investigate New Medicines Access

Scottish NHS Strategy calls for 'Realistic Medicine'

The Scottish Model of Value for Medicines: Taking Everything into Consideration

When SMC Says No: An Access to Medicines Lottery

Reviewing the Review: Access to New Medicines in Scotland

A day of psephology and kidology

Insulting the Lifesavers

Worthy of Mention – Health and Science in the Honours List

News Silence from North of the Border

A Christmas PPRS Present from Pharma

Wednesday, April 13, 2016: Comparison of Funds: New Medicines v Cancer Drugs


Cancer Drug Fund (CDF) 2015/16                             £340 million[i] [ii]

Population of England                                                54,408,700 [iii]


CDF in 2014-15                                                          £280 million [iv]

Total NHS England Drugs Budget (14-15)                 £15,500 million [v]


The CDF equates to £6.24 per patient in 2015-16

The CDF equated to an additional 1.8 per cent on top of the total drugs budget in 2014-15



New Medicines Fund (NMF) 2015-16                        £90 million [vi]

Population of Scotland                                               5,327,700[vii]


New Medicines Fund in 2014-15                                £40 million

Total NHS Scotland Drugs Budget (2014-15)            £1,562.1 million [viii]


The NMF equates to £16.89 per patient in 2015-16

The NMF equated to an additional 2.5 per cent on top of the total drugs budget in 2014-15. Now at £90 million, the NMF would represent an additional 5.8 per cent when compared to the 2014-15 budget.



The Scottish New Medicines Fund is 2.7 times larger as a proportion of the total population than the English Cancer Drugs Fund.

As a percentage of the core drugs budget, the additional funding for medicines under the Scottish New Medicines Fund is 3 times more generous than the Cancer Drugs Fund in England (5.8 per cent compared to 1.8 per cent).




[i] NHS England – The Cancer Drugs Fund


[ii] Visions4health Sharon Driver post:

[iii] Office of National Statistics

[iv] Kings Fund


[vi] [vi] Parliamentary Answer Question S4W-29677

Jackson Carlaw (West Scotland) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government how much funding it allocates to improve access to life-extending medicines. (S4W-29677)

Shona Robison: In addition to health boards’ budgets, the Scottish Government has also made £90 million available through the New Medicines Fund in 2015-16 to provide additional support to NHS boards for end of life, orphan and ultra-orphan medicines

[vii] National records of Scotland

[viii] ISD: