My mom, Yu "Denise" Deng, has been fighting gastric cancer for three years. She is only 52 and has endured 10+ surgeries, multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and throughout it all has managed to maintain her spirit and beautiful warm smile. It has been unimaginably difficult and we are at a point where all but one viable option have been exhausted. The last option is new investigational immunotherapy drug called Ramucirumab. The FDA can approve use of an investigational drug under an expanded access program or individual patient access, but Eli Lilly, the manufacturer, has not agreed to provide the drug. We hope that the signatures on this petition can convince Eli Lilly that a simple "yes" from them can not only help save a life, but demonstrate their dedication to ethics and compassion to thousands of supporters.
Ramucirumab been proven to increase the likelihood of survival for late stage gastric cancer patients. It has gone through extensive clinical trials and is in the final stage of approval by the FDA. Unfortunately, the drug isn't expected to be approved until after April 2014 and lag time for distribution will further delay access to the drug. I'm afraid my mom may not have that much time.
The decision to provide the drug rests wholly on the pharmaceutical company. Eli Lilly has stated that they do not, nor do they plan to, have an expanded use program for Ramucirumab. The rep I spoke with said "because the drug is expected to be approved in 4-6 months, Eli Lilly has chosen not to provide the drug through a compassionate use program at this time." In other words, the drug is going to be approved quickly, so they are not taking action to make it available to patients who need it between now and the time when the drug officially hits the market.
My mom isn't the only patient whose life depends on quick access to this drug. I know many more patients in Texas. Imagine how many more there are in the US or the world.
We need thousands of supporters to sign the petition and give my mom and the other patients out there a bold, strong, unified voice. We are imploring Eli Lilly to demonstrate their company purpose of SAVING LIVES and give Yu "Denise" Deng access to Ramucirumab now.