Welsh politician says money could be used to fund a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine instead


Free painkillers from the NHS should be scrapped to save money for funding a cancer-fighting vaccine for boys and girls in Wales, a politician has announced.

Welsh Assembly Member Angela Burns said ending the availability of free painkillers in Wales could free up more than £16m a year.

The Conservative Shadow Health Secretary said this could then be used to fund a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, the BBC reported.

But Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said he had “no intention” of making patients “pay for their painkillers”.

Currently, only girls aged 12-13 and gay men aged 16-45 are vaccinated against HPV, which is primarily known to cause cervical cancer but can also cause other cancers by affecting the throat, head and neck, vagina and penis.

Burns said painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen and co-codomol could be bought for pennies on the high street.

Last month, the Welsh Government decided not to extend the vaccine to boys after the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation made an interim ruling against such a move.

Shadow Health Secretary Burns claimed the saving would be “more than enough” to subsidise vaccinating the 36,764 boys aged 12 to 13 in Wales – saying it would cost about £11m.

Burns said failing to do so would “deny young boys a lifetime of protection from a cancer-causing virus”.

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