Two More Months
What is the Two More Months campaign?
Following years of dedicated campaigning by patients, their loved ones and pancreatic cancer charities, we are delighted that life-extending pancreatic cancer drug Abraxane is now available to NHS patients across the UK.
We know how vital time is for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones. So in February 2014 we launched our Two More Months campaign, designed to ensure that a new drug for pancreatic cancer was approved across the UK.
Abraxane® (used in combination with standard chemotherapy, gemcitabine) has been found to extend patients’ lives for an average of just over two months, although in some cases significantly longer. Because of this, Abraxane® has been hailed as the biggest advance in almost twenty years in the fight against this disease, and we want to help make sure that as many eligible patients as possible can benefit from the potential life-extending benefits of the drug on the NHS.
Over the past couple of years we have taken our campaign to all four corners of the United Kingdom: from petitions handed in to Downing Street and the Westminster Parliament, meetings at the Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, letter writing campaigns from our supporters, to taking part in formal NHS consultation processes.
Which parts of the UK is Abraxane® now available in?
Different parts of the UK have different appraisal systems to determine which drugs and treatments will be paid for by the NHS. Abraxane has been available on the NHS in Wales and Scotland since 2014 and 2015 respectively.
We are delighted that after years of campaigning for the treatment to be made available to all eligible patients in the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved the treatment for use on the NHS in England in August 2017. Following the NICE decision, Northern Ireland updated its guidance on Abraxane in October 2017, making the drug available to patients there.
Wider NICE reform still needed
Whilst the decision by all three drug appraisal bodies in the UK to recommend Abraxane should be celebrated as a significant step forward when it comes to the treatment of pancreatic cancer, we are concerned that too many barriers to accessing new treatments still exist within the current drug appraisal system. We want to see alterations to the assessment criteria used so that, among other things, drugs for conditions with extremely poor survival rates, such as pancreatic cancer, are looked at fairly.
We will continue to fight for effective new pancreatic cancer treatments to be made available to pancreatic cancer patients and for reform to the appraisal system through our Key to Survival campaign.
How can I help?
You can still help us fight for a fairer drug appraisal system by writing to your MP and asking them to support our calls for NICE to change. You can also sign our Every Month Matters petition. Find out more about campaigning with us.