We are extremely encouraged by today’s announcement by NICE that it is considering bringing forward a scheduled 2018 reappraisal of the chemotherapy drug Abraxane. We want to see a new appraisal of Abraxane carried out as soon as possible.
In addition to the fact that Abraxane’s manufacturer has proposed a Patient Access Scheme, which would effectively lower the cost of the drug to the NHS, we believe there is a clear clinical need for this treatment to be available to eligible pancreatic cancer patients.
Unlike many other forms of the disease, treatment options available to those with pancreatic cancer are extremely limited. Survival rates have barely changed in 40 years. This appalling disease is all too often diagnosed devastatingly late and Abraxane, when used in combination with standard chemotherapy, is one of the biggest advances in twenty years. It has the potential to benefit hundreds of patients and their families meaning more precious and valuable time together.
That is why, over the past two years, we have campaigned and worked hard with others, in public and behind the scenes, to try to ensure Abraxane is made available free on the NHS for all eligible patients in the UK. Abraxane is currently available in Scotland and Wales and we hope that this latest announcement by NICE is a step towards it being made routinely available on the NHS for patients in England, and by extension in Northern Ireland too.
We will now be making a formal submission to NICE setting out the importance that this treatment is available to patients who could benefit.
Cheif Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK