Thank you for all your comments and support on social media following the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) decision to not approve Abraxane for use on the NHS. We share your outrage and hope we can all work together to make sure patients have access to Abraxane across the UK.
In the short-term, NICE is very unlikely to change its decision so we are urging our supporters in England to concentrate on trying to get Abraxane retained on the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF). At the moment Abraxane is due to be removed from the CDF on 4th November but we want to get that decision overturned through a concerted effort. Please write to your MP using our template letter.
We also need to re-focus our efforts in Wales. At the moment, Abraxane is still free for patients on the NHS. However, Wales normally, but not always, follows guidance issued by NICE for England. So there is a chance Abraxane could be removed from the NHS in Wales too. In a pre-emptive effort we are asking our supporters in Wales to contact their local Assembly Members (you have 5) and your local MP asking them to help make sure Abraxane remains available via the NHS in Wales. Again, we have created template letters.
Longer-term, the whole drug appraisal system needs to change. The current system is clearly broken and does not work for pancreatic cancer patients and, for that matter, patients of other cancer types that also have extremely poor survival rates. There are currently a number of reviews taking place across Government that will shape the way drugs and other treatments for cancer and other conditions are appraised and approved in future. We will be working hard - together with other charities, organisations and politicians - to ensure that changes are made that lead to fairer treatment for pancreatic cancer patients in future.
As ever, we will keep you up to date with progress on this.