Responding to the decision to retain routine NHS access to the Chemotherapy drug Abraxane for patients with secondary (advanced) pancreatic cancer in Wales, Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK commented:
“We are delighted at today’s decision that means eligible pancreatic cancer patients across Wales will continue to get the chemotherapy drug Abraxane via the NHS. We and others have worked hard to secure this positive outcome for months and this result now means that a significant number of families will be able to spend more time together, time that is so precious and valuable.
“However, this now leaves a divided UK where eligible patients in Wales and Scotland can access the treatment, whilst those living in England and Northern Ireland cannot. Such unfairness will anger and confuse many patients and families who we support.
“This appalling disease is all too often diagnosed devastatingly late and unlike many other forms of cancer, treatment options continue to be extremely limited which makes this situation particularly hard for patients.
“We understand that the manufacturer of Abraxane is hoping to make a resubmission to NICE for a reappraisal of the drug for patients in England and Northern Ireland. We urge all parties to get around the table and make this happen as soon as possible. We will continue to do all we can to make sure this important drug is made available to eligible patients right across the UK.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK has been campaigning since February 2014 for Abraxane to be made available in all parts of the UK as part of its Two More Months campaign. You can read more about the campaign here.