Call for breast cancer drug Kadcyla to be made available

Rose Merritt was diagnosed with breast cancer in April

Rose Merritt was diagnosed with breast cancer in April

First published in News
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A YORK woman fighting cancer has spoken of her disappointment to see drugs which could help people like her has been rejected by the national health watchdog.

Last week NICE - the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - turned down breast cancer drug Kadcyla for widespread use because of its high price - £90,000 per patient.

The drug, which was tested at the Sheffield Cancer Centre, can help breast cancer patients when surgery is not possible and other treatments aren't working, giving women a "last hope" and extending their life by up to six months.

Rose Merritt, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer in April this year. Although she is responding well to treatment and her type of cancer would not be treated with Kadcyla Rose, from Poppleton, said she is frustrated to see a groundbreaking new treatment stopped in its tracks.

Rose said her type of cancer, along with the cancers Kadcyla helps, tends to be contracted by younger people.

"If my cancer progresses, it can be very aggressive and the prognosis wouldn't be good, so I can understand a little of how people will be feeling," she added

"I can see it also provides a higher quality of life because the side effects don't appear to be as bad. It could help young people who have lives they want to get on with for as long as possible."

Rose, who works as a fundraiser for Yorkshire Cancer Research, said her work keeps her up-to-date with progress in cancer treatment, making it especially frustrating for her to see several breast cancer drugs being declined by NICE, when Kadcyla in particular has been approved by equivalent bodies in European countries.

Government body NICE has criticised the pharmaceutical company behind the drug - Roche - for refusing the lower the price of its drug, saying the company knew the £90,000 price is above even a specially extended price bracket for cancer treatments.

But last week Roche is reported to have said that it had offered to cut the price of the drug and would be appealing against NICE's decision.

Comments (4)

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6:42pm Tue 12 Aug 14

oi oi savaloy says...

I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid!
I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid! oi oi savaloy
  • Score: -10

9:13pm Tue 12 Aug 14

CHISSY1 says...

oi oi savaloy wrote:
I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid!
I have been saying that for years,it stinks.
[quote][p][bold]oi oi savaloy[/bold] wrote: I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid![/p][/quote]I have been saying that for years,it stinks. CHISSY1
  • Score: -10

9:41pm Tue 12 Aug 14

AdrianlovesYorkMinster says...

oi oi savaloy wrote:
I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid!
I agree wholeheartedly. To be honest I've long stopped trying to fathom the logic by which NICE arrives at its decisions which, frankly, pass my understanding. It apparently seems to think offering healthy people drugs they don't need (statins) is an acceptable use of NHS money but not, seemingly, letting terminally ill people have good, well tested drugs which can add precious months to their lives. Most of us have experience of losing loved ones to cancer - I certainly have - and anything that can either save lives or (as in this case) extend them is surely worth doing and having.
[quote][p][bold]oi oi savaloy[/bold] wrote: I hope this lady gets through her treatment well and has a long and happy life, BUT it sickens me that NICE can turn down a drug for cancer patients in the U.K. YET our country can spend somewhere in the region of £80+ million per day to the E.U. and in foreign aid![/p][/quote]I agree wholeheartedly. To be honest I've long stopped trying to fathom the logic by which NICE arrives at its decisions which, frankly, pass my understanding. It apparently seems to think offering healthy people drugs they don't need (statins) is an acceptable use of NHS money but not, seemingly, letting terminally ill people have good, well tested drugs which can add precious months to their lives. Most of us have experience of losing loved ones to cancer - I certainly have - and anything that can either save lives or (as in this case) extend them is surely worth doing and having. AdrianlovesYorkMinster
  • Score: -7

1:07am Thu 14 Aug 14

York1900 says...

NICE is just a government quango that is there to vet the effectiveness of treatments that the NHS can provide for free but if you can come up with the money to get the drug privately that's ok

It is just away to push the NHS in to a privatise service and we have seen this government sell off NHS services that were making profits for the NHS

So the NHS is back to the 70s & 80s where it as to buy in blood products

19 July 2013
The government has sold an 80% stake in blood products company Plasma Resources UK to a US private equity firm.
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-politics-23
372989

Wednesday, 18 April 2007
The supply of contaminated NHS blood products to haemophiliacs in the 1970s and 1980s was "wholly avoidable", an independent public inquiry has heard.

The treatment, which often came from patients in the United States who were paid for giving blood, exposed 4,670 patients to hepatitis C infection.
http://news.bbc.co.u
k/1/hi/health/657017
9.stm
NICE is just a government quango that is there to vet the effectiveness of treatments that the NHS can provide for free but if you can come up with the money to get the drug privately that's ok It is just away to push the NHS in to a privatise service and we have seen this government sell off NHS services that were making profits for the NHS So the NHS is back to the 70s & 80s where it as to buy in blood products 19 July 2013 The government has sold an 80% stake in blood products company Plasma Resources UK to a US private equity firm. http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-politics-23 372989 Wednesday, 18 April 2007 The supply of contaminated NHS blood products to haemophiliacs in the 1970s and 1980s was "wholly avoidable", an independent public inquiry has heard. The treatment, which often came from patients in the United States who were paid for giving blood, exposed 4,670 patients to hepatitis C infection. http://news.bbc.co.u k/1/hi/health/657017 9.stm York1900
  • Score: 0

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