MP and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns is calling on the Welsh Government to give Welsh cancer patients the same access to treatment already received by English patients.
Mr Cairns has formally written to Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething to highlight the lack of cancer drugs available in Wales compared to those that patients are able to access in England.
Since 2013, English patients have been able to access Perjeta, a drug that can significantly extend the lives of women with HER2 positive incurable secondary breast cancer. The Welsh Government has not provided this medication on the NHS due to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) not concluding its appraisal of the drug. Despite this, it has been available to patients in England through the Cancer Drugs Fund.
In addition to Perjeta, the MP is calling for palbociclicb and ribociclib to be made available. Both drugs can provide up to 10 additional month of good quality life to patients dying from HER2 negative incurable secondary breast cancer. The two drugs have been recently recommended by NICE to be made available on the NHS, however no information has yet been shared by Mr Gething as to whether or not Welsh patients will be able to receive this treatment.
Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said, “Welsh cancer patients should not be at a disadvantage compared to those living across the border. Every second of life is precious to those with incurable cancer, as well as to their loved ones. Therefore if there are drugs available which can extend these patients’ lives, then it is only right that those in Wales have the same access as English patients.
“I hope that the Welsh Government will now ensure that this transformational treatment will be routinely available to women in Wales for the first time.”