Nic Dakin MP will tomorrow (Tuesday 21st July) present to the House of Commons a petition, signed by over 2,700 people, calling for a life-extending drug to remain available to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).
Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pancreatic Cancer, will present the petition on behalf of Pancreatic Cancer UK, ahead of a CDF panel meeting next Wednesday (29th July) which will decide whether the drug, Abraxane, should stay on the CDF list. Currently this is the only way that people in England can access the drug, which is one of very few new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer in 20 years. When used in combination with standard chemotherapy, Abraxane can allow eligible patients with advanced pancreatic cancer to live an extra two months on average, and sometimes much longer.
Nic Dakin said: “Pancreatic cancer is a disease with terribly low survival rates and very few treatment options. Abraxane represents one of the very few advances in treatment for pancreatic cancer over the past two decades, which gives eligible patients an extra two months’ survival on average, and that is why I am presenting this petition to the House of Commons.
“Abraxane was only added to the CDF list of approved drugs last March, and a decision was made to keep it on the CDF as recently as January. I do not see what has changed in that intervening period and believe that eligible patients should continue to be given this treatment option. I sincerely hope the CDF panel decide to keep the drug on the list of approved drugs when it meets next week.”
Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We are absolutely determined that this life-extending drug stays available to people with advanced disease in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund. That’s why we called on our supporters to sign our petition and join us in sending an urgent message to the CDF panel that Abraxane simply must stay on its list of approved drugs.
“Over 500 patients have been given access to Abraxane since it was added to the CDF, which shows there is a very real need for the drug. We urge the panel, meeting next week, to continue helping eligible people with advanced pancreatic cancer in England to have a precious two more months to spend with their loved ones. Someone with advanced disease will typically live for just two to six months after diagnosis, so for many families, the drug will give them twice as long together.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK ran the petition as part of its ongoing ‘Two More Months’ campaign, for the drug Abraxane to be made available on the NHS to everyone with advanced pancreatic cancer who needs it.
You can find out more about pancreatic cancer and Abraxane, here.