Campaign success: Duodopa approved in Wales
People with advanced Parkinson's in Wales will now be able to access the innovative treatment duodopa more easily, after it was approved by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).
Parkinson's UK campaigned to make access to the drug easier. The existing system - where professionals had to apply for the drug for each individual patient - was a lengthy process, which often left people facing delays in accessing the treatment.
Controlling Parkinson's symptoms
Duodopa can help to control the symptoms of advanced Parkinson's when all other treatments have stopped working.
It can have a transformative effect on people – and can mean the difference between someone using a wheelchair, being barely able to lift their head, and being able to walk around independently.
We worked with families affected by advanced Parkinson's to raise awareness of the issues that they faced.
One of our supporters, a person living with Parkinson’s in Wales shared:
"I went through a really frightening time. At 59 I was told there was nothing more that could be done for me and I felt it was unfair the drug was available in Scotland and England – but not as easily here."
"Since taking duodopa my health and ability to concentrate has vastly improved, and I feel able to drive again."
Their experiences enabled us to make a strong case to the Welsh Assembly and the AWMSG.
Duodopa can transform lives
Ana Palazon, Wales Director at Parkinson's UK, said:
"We know that duodopa can change lives. It's clear the treatment is suitable only for a handful of people, and it's not a cure, but it can be transformative.
"Parkinson's UK is committed to finding better treatments and a cure for Parkinson's. We are very pleased that Welsh government has taken this decision, as it's vital that people with Parkinson's have access to world-class treatments in Wales."
Access around the UK
Duodopa can now be accessed across the UK. However, it is only suitable for a small number of people, so please speak to your consultant about whether duodopa is right for you.