Sunday, 30 November 2008

Ban on Kidney Cancer drugs lifted !!!

A ban on drugs that can give kidney cancer patients many months of extra life is to be lifted. At least two, and possibly all four, of the medicines that had previously been deemed too expensive to prescribe will be approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) early next year.
The move is a major victory for campaigners, patients and cancer specialists. They had described Nice's refusal to approve the drugs - which cost up to £70,000 a year per patient - as unfair, inhumane and condemning patients to an unnecessarily early death.
Oncologists believe Sutent, Nexavar, Avastin and Torisel could benefit about half of the 7,000 people a year who are diagnosed with kidney cancer. No other drugs are as effective at extending life in patients with advanced forms of the disease or in whom cancer has returned after a period of remission.
In August, medicines watchdog Nice refused to approve the drugs because they did not represent good value for money. But sources at Nice now say that Sutent will be given the green light when its appraisal committee holds its final meeting to discuss the drugs on 14 January. At least one more drug - likely to be Avastin or Nexavar - will also be approved, the sources added.
The move follows Health Secretary Alan Johnson's decision this month to overhaul the way new medicines are assessed for terminally ill patients. Denying cancer patients access to drugs that are widely available abroad has become a major political issue.
Nice immediately promised to be more flexible when examining the merits of such drugs, even if they were so costly they failed to meet its appraisal criteria.

Ban on kidney cancer drugs lifted Science The Observer

I dont know what to say really - Im completely overwhelmed and SO relieved, I was actually in tears when I read the news.

Thank you everyone who signed petitions, wrote to their MP's and gave such wonderful support during the past 4 months to our campaign.


Yasmin said...

That's fabulous news Jane they should never have been banned anyway, it's about time they stopped this postcode lottery nonsense, and at least this will give others hope.

Take care


mortonlake said...

i saw it. read it.thought of you.and knew somehow you would post.brilliant news.take care and keep in there mort xxx

Sybil said...

Jane it is you that is the wonderwoman...You have worked so hard to keep us all informed. I am so so happy for everyone.
Take care love Sybil xx

LYN said...

fab news!! woo hoo!

Deb said...

One small voice - yours - along with your many supporters have made the difference.

Congratulations to everyone!