§ 7. Mr. Andrew Robathan (Blaby)
How much of the £150 million committed from the new opportunities fund to combat cancer has been distributed. 
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Yvette Cooper)
Some £116.25 million from the new opportunities fund has been made available for cancer services in England and £93 million of that has already been allocated across the country for new cancer equipment. A further £23.25 million will be spent on palliative care and support and information services. Successful applicants for this money will be announced in September 2000.
§ Mr. Robathan
Does not the Minister, in her heart, agree that state health care should be funded by Government money and not by lottery money? However, is she aware that, if we are to have such funding, although that £150 million was trumpeted with fanfares and welcomed by the Prime Minister and the previous Secretary of State for Health, Leicestershire health authority is having to make a bid for a health care initiative for disadvantaged communities? Would it not be better to provide a CT scanner that would benefit all the people of Leicestershire than to have such gimmicks?
§ Yvette Cooper
I strongly agree with the way in which the new opportunities fund is being spent, and I think that the people of Britain also agree. They would certainly far rather have the money spent on important cancer equipment than on the Churchill papers. I am proud that the money for palliative care is being spent on disadvantaged communities, because this Government, unlike the previous one, are committed to tackling health inequalities and the unfair lottery of care across the country.
§ Mr. Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge)
Is the Minister aware that the director general of the Cancer Research Campaign will give evidence to the Select Committee on Science and Technology tomorrow that the use of Temodal, the revolutionary brain cancer drug developed by Cancer Research Campaign's own scientists here in Britain, is eight times higher in Germany than in Britain, five times higher in Italy, three times higher in France and twice as high in Spain and Greece? Against the backdrop of the Government's rhetoric of priority to cancer services, does the Minister consider it acceptable that a world-class cancer drug developed in Britain with voluntary contributions made by the British people should be freely available in other EU countries, but available to only one in four of British patients who could benefit from it?
§ Yvette Cooper
We take seriously the lottery of care across the country with regard to cancer drugs, which is why we referred the taxanes to NICE as a matter of early priority. We will shortly make an announcement about the next wave of cancer drugs to be referred to NICE, and Temodal will be one of those drugs.