Getting a second opinion

You might want to see another GP or specialist to get a second opinion about your diagnosis or treatment.

Other ways to access treatment

Sometimes there are treatments which could help you, but they aren’t available on the NHS. Find out other ways to access a treatment that isn’t available on the NHS.

Buying medicines in the UK to send abroad

Sending medicines abroad depends on the type of medicine and where you want to send it. There are medicines regulations and postal services restrictions to follow. 

Comparing NHS with private cancer treatment

There might be some differences between the National Health Service (NHS) and private cancer treatment in the UK.


NICE stands for The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC)

The SMC is an independent organisation that advises the NHS Health Boards about medicines in Scotland.

Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF)

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) is a way of funding cancer drugs in England.

Free prescriptions for people with cancer

All NHS prescriptions are free if you live in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. There are usually charges in England. But if you have cancer, you can apply for a certificate to get free prescriptions.

How cancer drugs are licensed in the UK

Drugs go through a review process. This ensures they're safe, effective, and that the benefits outweigh possible side effects.

Early Access to Medicines Scheme

The Early Access to Medicines Scheme (EAMS) aims to make promising new medicines available to patients sooner. 

Making a complaint

You can make a complaint if you’re not happy with your treatment or care, whether your care is with the NHS or private services.

Cancer waiting times

There are waiting time targets for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the different UK nations.

Last reviewed: 
13 Sep 2019