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

Cost of medicines falling

Three Nations Three Practices

Community Pharmacy Eliminating Hepatitis C

Homeless People make Glasgow

Heart Failure – we can get treatment right for everyone

Bundles of Safety

Community Pharmacy’s Leader in Scotland

CPO: On the Road to Achieving Excellence

Pharmacy technicians may become prescribers

Profile: Dr Norman Lannigan OBE

Profile: Jonathan Burton MBE

Profile: Clare Morrison MBE

Deep Dive Pharmacy

Mind the Gap - Diagnostic Skills for Pharamacists

Bundles of Safety

Supporting Excellence - Alison Strath Interview

2018 Pharmacy Forum Agenda Launched

Which Referendum to Choose

Three Perspectives on Pharmacy and Mental Health

Pharmacy and the New GP Contract

Bordering on Problematic

Recognised by the Queen and her community

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

Initiatives Highlight Potential of Community Pharmacy

Pharmacy First in Forth Valley One Year On

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: