Two More Months
In February 2014, we launched our Two More Months campaign, which aimed to make the chemotherapy drug Abraxane® available for eligible pancreatic cancer patients across the UK.
What is Abraxane?
Abraxane® is a chemotherapy drug that when used in combination with Gemcitabine has been shown to extend patients life by an average of just over two months, compared to receiving gemcitabine alone.
Abraxane is recommended by NICE guidelines in combination in gemcitabine as an option for untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer if other combination chemotherapies are unsuitable – often in cases where the patient is too unwell to receive FOLFIRINOX that may have some side effects and is often toxic.
Two More Months campaign
In 2014, Abraxane was licensed for use in the UK, but then subsequently was withdrawn. Therefore, 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.
In September 2015, the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) announced that Abraxane would be removed from the approved list. This was followed by the decision by NICE in 2015, not to approve the use of Abraxane in the NHS, as it was not considered cost effective.
Following the decision not to approve the use of Abraxane in the NHS in 2015, we launched the Every Month Matters campaign to call for fair access to life extending treatments for pancreatic cancer. Following years of dedicated campaigning by patients in August 2017, NICE reviewed its guidance, reversed their decision, and made Abraxane available on the NHS in England.
Which parts of the UK is Abraxane® now available?
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. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved the treatment for use on the NHS in England in August 2017 and following the NICE decision Northern Ireland updated its guidance on Abraxane in October 2017, making the drug available to patients there.
Unlocking access to new treatments
Despite the success of the Two More Months and Every Month Matters campaign to get Abraxane approved for use across the whole of the UK, wider reform is still needed to ensure that more treatments become available. To find out more about improving access to life-extending treatment see out Key to Survival campaign.
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.