Thursday, 13 November 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP: demanding a fair price for life-extending breast cancer drugs

Local MP Stephen Metcalfe has joined charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer in its call for fairer access to life-extending breast cancer drugs.

Concerns were raised at the charity’s annual Parliamentary Reception on the routine availability of, and inflated prices being set for, vital treatments that can offer women living with incurable breast cancer extra time with their loved ones, free from many of the side effects associated with traditional cancer therapies.

Stephen Metcalfe has committed to working with Breakthrough to ensure that women across Basildon and Thurrock have access to the breast cancer drugs they need, raising this issue in parliament and prioritising the clear calls to action laid out as part of the first phase of the Demand a Fair Price campaign.

A number of innovative new breast cancer drugs have been rejected for routine use on the NHS and are only available through the Cancer Drugs Fund, which the government introduced as a temporary measure. The Cancer Drugs Fund is only available to patients in England until 2016 and Breakthrough Breast Cancer for long-term reform of the drug pr4icing system, to give patients across the UK the certainty that they will be able to access the drugs they need at prices the NHS can afford.

Stephen Metcalfe commented: “It is vitally important that we back Breakthrough Breast Cancer in their commitment to solving the problems that currently exist around access to drugs in the UK.

This will come from negotiations and ongoing discussion with pharmaceutical companies, regulators and charities to create a new system which will ensure all cancer patients can access the drugs they need at a fair price to the NHS.

We’ve come a long way in developing new and better drugs for breast cancer but to keep moving towards a future where women can live longer feeling well, spend less time in hospital with debilitating side effects and more time with their families, and keep working if they are able to, we need to find a way to guarantee access to the drugs that can make this possible.”