MP Fitzpatrick in call for new life-saving breast cancer drugs on NHS

MP Jim Fitzpatrick backing calls for new breast cancer drugs on the NHS

MP Jim Fitzpatrick backing calls for new breast cancer drugs on the NHS - Credit: Archant

MP Jim Fitzpatrick is publicly backing the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity’s call to make wider access to drug treatment a national priority.

The charity is urging the government to make new everolimus and pertuzumab drugs available on the NHS.

It follows the charity’s “disappointment” earlier this year that the drugs—also known as Afinitor and Perjeta—were rejected by National Institute for Health Care Excellence on the basis of cost.

“Breast cancer is not yesterday’s problem,” the Poplar & Limehouse MP said. “Thousands of women live with a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer, with incredibly-limited options for treatment.

“We have a responsibility to make sure these pioneering drugs reach patients who will benefit from them.”

He is writing to the Prime Minister to urge him to take the lead and help improve recovery prospects for 12,000 women who are still dying every year in Britain from breast cancer, following the charity’s campaign launch at a reception it hosted for MPs at Westminster.

The charity’s chief executive Chris Askew said: “The Government has a clear role to play to ensure patients can expect the best treatment. With the right funding, it’s a question of when—not if—we beat this disease.

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“But the future for breast cancer patients looks increasingly bleak.”

Latest figures this week show that more than eight-out-of-10 women are now surviving with breast cancer beyond five years, while three out of four are surviving beyond 10 years.

Research by the London Independent Hospital at Stepney Green has found high profile charity events were helping more women to check regularly.

Kristin Hallenga’s CoppaFeel campaign launched in the East End three years a go was encouraging younger women to check regularly for signs of breast cancer.

Kristin was just 25 when she was diagnosed in 2010 with incurable cancer which she says doctors missed twice.

She began using text messaging to get women to check regularly when she set up her campaign from her home in Shadwell.